Lawrence M. Walsh
JOLIET – The Warren-Sharpe Community Center of Joliet has entered the Seeds of Change Grant Program and is asking the community to vote for its application.
Seeds of Change is offering two $20,000 and 10 $10,000 grants in each the community garden and school garden categories. Warren-Sharpe is competing in the community garden category.
The grant program aims to enhance the environmental, economic and social well-being of gardens, farms and communities. The grants will be awarded to organizations that help support sustainable, community-based gardening and farming programs that focus on teaching people about the food they eat and how it’s grown.
“This farm has an educational garden like the ones that are awarded grants through the We WILL Grow School and Community Garden Program,” said Kathy Pecora, coordinator for the Will County project
The Warren-Sharpe Community Center feeds about 800 families with produce grown in its community garden and wants to expand, Pecora said. The City of Joliet has given vacant lots to the Warren Sharpe Community Center. The grant would be used to start the expansion.
“If we can help Warren-Sharpe succeed in its community garden development we will have a model that can be replicated throughout Will County,” she continued. “Community gardens like the Healthy Kids and Families Garden at Warren Sharpe shows families how good fresh food taste, educates them on how to make healthy food choices and demonstrates how easy it is to grow and prepare fresh fruits and vegetables.”
Seeds of Change accepted hundreds of applications from organizations and schools across the country. Warren-Sharpe Community Center’s application highlighted how it would use the grant to grow its gardening program and achieve its goals.
Through April 18, community members can visit the Seeds of Change website, www.seedsofchangegrant.com, and vote once per day. After voting closes on April 18, the top 50 vote getters will move on to the final judging phase. About May 3, Seeds of Change will announce the 24 grant recipients, 12 in each category.
For more information about Seeds of Change or the Seeds of Change Grant Program, visit its website.
The Land Use Department is led by Director Curt Paddock and is under County Executive Larry Walsh’s office. For additional information about the department and its activities go to www.willcountygreen.com.