Grow it Green Morristown

Address

Suite 300
14 Maple Ave.
Morristown, NJ 07960
County: Morris
http://www.growitgreenmorristown.org

Contact

Mrs. Abigail R. Gallo

Grant Amount

$20,000

Program Area

Morristown

Focus

Grant Details

To support expansion of existing staff from part-time to full-time to fulfill the upcoming growth of the Early Street Community Garden and increased programming at the Urban Farm, and efforts to increase GIGM's donor base.

Organization Background

In March 2009, three Morristown residents came together creating Grow it Green Morristown. The mission of Grow It Green Morristown is to build community through collaborative projects centered around food, education, and shared outdoor spaces. We are working to be a catalyst for positive change in the Greater Morristown Community.

In Spring of 2009, the Early Street Community Garden (ESCG) opened on the site of a littered, vacant lot. Today the garden is a community hub. With over 75 groups on a wait list, the popularity of the program is self-evident, but was solidified with the preservation of the garden in 2012. This fall, we launched the Grow Early Capital Campaign to re-build the garden based on input from a series of stakeholder meetings with the community. The new garden will include substantially more garden beds, a new public park, a solar classroom pavilion and demonstration rain-garden area.

In 2010, GIGM created New Jersey's largest public school garden: the Urban Farm (UF). We've had thousands of student visits there, teaching children about fresh food, nutrition, community engagement and environmental responsibility. The farm donates vast amounts of produce to our schools and food pantries, this year adding Table of Hope from Bethel AME to the list. Our CSA and farm stand sales are highly successful; moving UF toward self-reliance. In 2013 GIGM doubled the size of the farm with corporate support.

The organization has continued to grow in its own capacity as well. Our Farm Manager, Shaun Ananko, continues to work with student and volunteer groups and manage all aspects of the Urban Farm. We acquired office space as a Dodge Foundation tenant this spring, providing us with a place to meet and collaborate. This October, we hired our first Executive Director to lead the operations of the organization and free our board members to focus on strategic planning and fundraising for the organization. Earlier in the year, we hired an assistant farmer to manage the ESCG and assist at the UF, as well as a part-time administrative assistant. We also employed one intern and three high school students this summer.

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