Six Keep America Beautiful (KAB) affiliates were selected to receive Keep America Beautiful “Power of Green” Technical Services Grants. The program, which is in its second year, is designed to provide in-kind technical expertise from Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) staff, in addition to a monetary grant of $2,500, for beautification and community greening projects that improve public spaces.

The winners of the KAB/PHS Power of Green grants are:

·         Keep Arizona Beautiful – The Roosevelt Row vacant lot garden project will serve as a catalyst for overhauling dilapidated vacant lots into active and productive public spaces.

·         Keep Greenville County (S.C.) Beautiful – Keep Greenville County Beautiful will create a sustainable demonstration garden/classroom that will transform a stagnant downtown site into a sustainable public garden, adjacent to a new Farmer’s Market Pavilion.

·         Keep Louisiana Beautiful  – “Planting Character, Growing Pride” is an edible community garden pilot project expanding on an existing initiative at James Weldon Johnson Elementary School in New Orleans.

·         Keep Oakland Beautiful – Keep Oakland Beautiful will further its partnership with East Oakland PRIDE Elementary and Lossieland Preschool to develop school gardens as well as enhancing the adjacent community garden at Arroyo Viejo Community Park.

·         Keep Rio Rancho (N.M.) Beautiful – Rio Rancho Tree Stewards is designed to increase and build capacity of the City’s Urban Forestry program.

·         Keep Topeka/Shawnee County Beautiful – A sensory garden will be developed in the Civitan Camp for youth with disabilities to encourage the appreciation of nature, plants and gardens with disabled citizens.

“The ‘Power of Green’ grant recipients have demonstrated creative approaches in developing sustainable projects that will have long-lasting benefits,” said Matthew McKenna, president and CEO of Keep America Beautiful.  “Being able to mine the expertise of skilled practitioners from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society ensures that the outcomes will far exceed the initial investment.”

The Power of Green grants provide in-kind services and a monetary grant valued at $2,500 for technical assistance with planning or enhancing programs involving community gardening, tree-planting, park restoration, and gateway beautification, among other initiatives. Services rendered by PHS include expert consultation, plan review, and development or on-site consultation.  The monetary grant of $2,500 can be used for garden supplies.

“PHS congratulates the recipients of the ‘Power of Green’ grants, and we look forward to helping them realize their goals of creating beautiful as well as sustainable communities,” said PHS President Drew Becher.  “It’s very exciting for PHS to be part of the movement across the U.S. to build healthy cities through greening.”

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