Vermont Press Releases

Green Thumbs at Work garden grants application deadline is Jan. 29

News Release — Vermont Department of Health
Jan. 15, 2016

Contact:
· Ashwinee Kulkarni, Vermont Department of Health, 802-859-5916, Ashwinee.Kulkarni@vermont.gov

· Libby Weiland, Vermont Community Garden Network, 802-861-4769, libby@vcgn.org

BURLINGTON – The Vermont Department of Health and Vermont Community Garden Network, in partnership with Charlie Nardozzi, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont, and Gardener’s Supply, are offering grants for small business and organizations to establish workplace food gardens for their employees.

The Green Thumbs at Work grants are open to any Vermont business or organization with fewer than 50 employees. The gardens can be in-ground or raised beds. The total grant award is $1,750, which includes $500 for materials, a $250 Gardener’s Supply gift certificate, and $1,000 of garden planning support and technical assistance from horticulturalist Charlie Nardozzi and the Vermont Community Garden Network. Eleven grants are available in 2016.

The application deadline is Friday, Jan. 29, 2016.

The Green Thumbs at Work program provides a means of physical activity and stress reduction, increases access to fresh produce, and promotes opportunities for other wellness activities. The employees must be the primary users of the garden and beneficiaries of the food.

Workplace gardens can also increase employee engagement, camaraderie, and healthy behavior.

The technical assistance provided through the grant program helps each business determine the type and size of garden that best meets its needs, and develop strategies to ensure the garden will be successful throughout the 2016 season and for years to come.

In the words of 2015 Green Thumbs grantees:

“We wanted people to have a reason to get away from their desks and enjoy the sunshine. We also wanted people to bond across teams, as we often only work with our own small group of teammates. It was a huge success on both counts!” -Jennifer Michelle, Open Tempo, Williston

At Milton CAT, in Richmond, the biggest success of the season was: “Sparking conversations around healthier/clean eating with employees that previously were not interested in the wellness program.” -Holly Zelenkewich, Milton CAT, Richmond

Grant winners will be selected based on readiness to develop a workplace garden, including the existence of a wellness coordinator or wellness committee, the ability to provide matching funds and in-kind services for garden development, employee participation, and clear articulation of how the garden will help meet employee wellness goals.

Green Thumbs at Work grant winners will be announced Feb. 29, 2016.

For more program details and a link to the online application, go to http://vcgn.org/green-thumbs-at-work/, or call (802) 861-4769 for more information.

Trish Deschamps, Office Manager
Vermont Community Garden Network
12 North Street #5 | Burlington, Vermont 05401
Office: 802-861-4769 | Cell: 802-752-7104
www.vcgn.org


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