Three local gardens will receive needed upgrades and support with the help of gift awards from the Kansas City, Kan., Board of Public Utilities.
BPU’s Board of Directors presented $10,500 in award money or in-kind aid as part the Utilities’ Community Funding Program, which aims to assist organizations in their implementation of programs or projects that benefit the Wyandotte community.
“We are lucky to be in a city that has so many remarkable not-for-profit organizations that are working to make Kansas City a great place to live,” said Jeff Bryant, board secretary and chair of the Economic Development Committee. “BPU is happy to partner with these three gardens as they work to not only feed our community but also teach lifelong skills.”
The three projects include:
• The installation of a yard hydrant and drip irrigation system for the Hillcrest Community Garden. The garden provides fresh vegetables for the residents of Hillcrest Transitional Housing, while also teaching valuable life lessons on sustaining a home garden.
• The installation of a yard hydrant for the Community Housing of Wyandotte County garden. The garden is partly maintained by students from Bishop Ward High School who grow produce that can be used in the high school cafeteria.
• Funding for basic supplies and training for the more than 17 Kansas City, Kan., families who take part in the Juniper Gardens Training Farm. Program participants commit up to four years of learning and preparing to start and operate a small farm business. Cultivate Kansas City, which manages the training farm, provides low-income farmers with land, startup capital, training and one-on-one assistance.
“We’re pleased to partner with BPU in promoting the growing of healthy food in Wyandotte County,” said Katherine Kelly, executive director of Cultivate Kansas City. “The Juniper Gardens Training Farm is a place where community gardeners and startup farm businesses are contributing to the health and well-being of their families and of Kansas City Kansas and we appreciate the support and recognition of BPU in this work.”
Since the establishment of the Community Funding Program in the fall of 2011, BPU has awarded more than $65,000 to area nonprofits. Award recipients go through an application process and are approved by BPU’s Board of Directors. For more information about the program or to apply, contact Joe Dick at firstname.lastname@example.org.