Kindness in Real Life: Grants support garden projects in Groton, New London

Recent grants awarded to the Eastern Connecticut Community Gardens Association will support ongoing projects in Groton and New London.

A grant from the Newman’s Own Foundation, given as part of the foundation’s food access and education mission, will support Grasso Technical High School’s farm-to-table programming. Students in the school’s bio-science and environmental technology department will be able to expand their produce production to include gardening at the Groton Family Farm; the funds have been used to build fences, spread mulch and establish new beds on the property. Seedlings grown by the students are distributed to other schools and community organizations through ECCGA, and produce from the project is used in the school’s culinary arts program and local soup kitchens.

Another grant from the New London Water Authority Community Fund Grant Board was used to establish an outdoor education space at Nathan Hale Arts Magnet School in New London. The money was used to provide fencing materials for the space, following a plan designed by FoodCorps intern Brandee Kitzmiller. In a release, she said several students, parents, teachers and staff came to help install the fence the weekend of June 22, which will separate the outdoor teaching space from the distractions of the playground.

Since 2011, the ECCGA has helped start more than 150 local community gardens to teach vegetable gardening skills and support the production of fresh produce for local charity food centers. For more information, visit getgrowingct.org.

Kindness in Real Life is a regular feature in the Times. To submit, email times@theday.com.

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