Goehring awards community and school orchard, garden grants
BISMARCK – Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring has awarded grants totaling $52,500 for 13 projects to plant orchards and gardens in local communities.
“The North Dakota Community Orchard Project provides educational opportunities and fosters community spirit by bringing people together to plant and tend these orchards and gardens,” said Goehring. “The fruits and vegetables produced will benefit communities, schools and those in need.”
The grants were awarded to:
· Mountrail County Ag Agency: $7,000 to provide outdoor classroom space for students, food-to-table education and produce for those in need.
· Oakes - Sargent Central - Ellendale Agriculture Education/FFA: $7,000 to provide an orchard as a hands-on learning tool for agriculture education classes about tree husbandry, and future classes on processing and preserving fruit.
· Valley City Beautification Commission: $6,000 to create a community orchard.
· United Tribes Technical College: $5,900 to plant indigenous fruits to educate students on fruit varieties native to the area, and to provide produce to families on campus and the cafeteria.
· Jamestown Parks and Recreation: $5,500 to create an orchard for use by the community and to provide educational opportunities for Jamestown High School.
· Central Cass School District: $5,270 to create two orchards to provide learning, nutrition education and hunger relief to students and patrons of the school district.
· Dakota Estates Retirement Center: $3,600 to build raised-bed gardens to make gardening more accessible for the residents, improving their quality of life and providing vegetables for their meals.
· Bishop Ryan Catholic Schools: $3,016 for an orchard and vegetable garden to teach students from all grade levels about planting and caring for trees and plants.
· Fargo Union Mission: $2,425 to enhance an existing orchard by adding irrigation and to provide more produce to people in need.
· Sterling Elementary School: $2,075 to plant berries and fruit trees to provide hands-on learning to students about tree care and soil health, and to provide pollinator habitat.
· City of West Fargo: $1,776 to turn city-owned vacant lots unsuitable for housing development into pocket community orchards.
· Wing Public Schools: $1,487 to plant berries and fruit trees to serve as a living ag classroom for the agriculture education program being developed in the school.
· Velva Community Orchard: $1,451 to create an orchard to serve as an education platform for youth, teach about healthy eating and create a space for everyone in the community.
Goehring said grant money can be used for plants, trees, planting supplies, soil amendments, irrigation and fencing supplies, but not for permanent structures, capital expenditures or to buy land.