Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Backyard Composting

Turn Your Green Waste into Compost
Backyard composting is a way to manage your waste at home and eliminating the amount of waste going to the landfill. For information on how you can turn your green waste into compost, read this Composting Guide provided by City of LA Sanitation's Solid Resources division. You can also learn about backyard composting, worm composting, compost bins, grasscycling, and other gardening techniques at one of its workshop events held on the 4th Saturday of the month from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Griffith Park Composting Education Facility located at 5400 Griffith Park Drive, Los Angeles. Compost bin sales are held on the 2nd Friday (9 a.m. to 1 p.m) and 4th Saturday (10 a.m. to 12 p.m.) of the month at the Griffith Park Composting Education Facility. Go to their website for a complete list of workshops, compost bin sales event and worm suppliers.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

One Million Dollar Grant Opportunity

Peoples Garden School Pilot Program

USDA Food and Nutritional Service (FNS) is now accepting proposals for a one million dollar grant for a People's Garden School Pilot Program. The grant will be awarded to a recognized organization who best develops a pilot program to create community gardens at 2 or more eligible high-poverty schools (at least 50% of students are eligible for free or reduce price meals).

The purposes of the grant and pilot program are:

1. To instill knowledge of agriculture practices, diet and nutrition to the students.

2. The sharing of produce from the garden with eligible schools, student households, local food banks and/or senior center nutrition programs.

3. To analyze the impact of school gardens on educational outcomes.

The guidelines and application forms can be accessed here. Applications are due October 8, 2010. If you have questions, contact Lisa Johnson, Grants Officer, by email at Lisa.Johnson@fns.usda.gov or PeoplesGardenSchoolPilot@fns.usda.gov.

Sign up for the webinar on August 31, 2010 from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time to learn more about the grant and to get your questions answered. If you miss the webinar, click here to view the recorded webcast of the webinar.

Good luck!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Garden Started by Two Moms

Two moms, Theresa Franklin and Lisa Mann, told their story on momlogic.com about "How Two Moms Brought Organic Food to an Urban School" for Rio Vista Elementary School. After learning that their kid's kindergarten class believed that vegetables came from the store, the two moms became inspired to change the kids' views.

Theresa and Lisa made their idea into reality after seeing an underutilized piece of land that can be transformed into a garden. They received approval from Department of Recreation and Parks to use the land and on behalf of Rio Vista PTA, they applied and was awarded the CB Grant for two consecutive years. With the grant funds, the PTA was able to build over a dozen planting beds and purchase a tool shed, plants and other supplies for the garden.

With the help of the school community, the area has transformed into a beautiful sanctuary that provides a unique learning experience for the teachers and students. As stated by Theresa, the kids can "know that their veggies come from a seed planted in the ground.....learn responsibility, life cycles and much more."

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

LAUSD Gardens Featured on CNN

Westminster Elementary School "WE Garden"
CNN's anchor, Anderson Cooper, recently featured a story on LAUSD's gardens, showcasing two gardens, Berendo Elementary School's garden and Westminster Elementary School's "WE Garden" which was funded by the CB Grant.

John Sohn, LAUSD's Chief of Facilities, stated that much of LAUSD's property is asphalted and concreted. By transforming the barren area into a garden, "its bringing learning, its bringing modification, its bringing jobs", as provided by Monica Garcia, LAUSD's Board President.

At Berendo Elementary, students are enjoying their new garden. Cheyenne Banks, a 5th grade student, said that there used to be "just cement a couple of years ago, there wasn't really much life here; but now a lot of creatures have homes here." The students can see the benefits of having a school garden: bugs thriving in their natural environment, less money spent at stores for vegetables, and the vitality it adds to the school.

The video, California's green schools, can be viewed on Anderson Cooper's blog, Anderson Cooper 360.

Monday, August 2, 2010

How do you like the new look?

We have updated the look of the blog for the first time. We would like to know how you like it. Can you read the text? So you like the colors? Any comments, negative or postive are welcomed at LACBGrant@gmail.com. Thank you!