#QCBMF kicks off #GiveOzarksGardens on April 16
Published on 2016-04-08 in Garden CommunityGarden News
Join us on April 16 as we celebrate hairy faces and raise funds to continue restoring relationships and access to fresh, local food. The Queen City Beard and Moustache Federation will kick off our Give Ozarks campaign on April 16 at 5pm at 319 Event Center. This annual facial hair competition is looking to raise $20k to provide match funds for the one day online fundraiser on May 3.
Why have thousands of hours from multiple organizations and individual volunteers been invested in Springfield Community Gardens over the last five years? Because of stories like this one:
"My mom and I didn't have a good relationship until we started working side-by-side in the garden. Now we are best friends sharing gardening tips and recipes. It has really improved our relationship."
Springfield Community Gardens has experienced significant growth since the creation of the first Grant Beach Neighborhood Garden in 2010. In order to continue to provide support to our current 18 gardens and one urban farm, we need funds for garden supplies, garden tools, fuel and water, liability insurance and seasonal pay for garden leaders and volunteer managers. To date these efforts have been funded by grants, donations and some generous in-kind donations from big local agencies such as Ozarks Food Harvest, the Springfield Greene-County Health Department, The City of Springfield, Habitat for Humanity of Springfield, MO, Convoy of Hope, Drury University, MSU and The Ozarks Regional YMCA as well as from dedicated volunteers.
We rent office space and garden land at The Fairbanks, a community center project in Zone 1 created by the Drew Lewis Foundation.
There are multiple community gardens requesting support and the potential for many more. Both public and private land donations to use as gardens have been received and more are available. Here are the new projects we have so far in 2016 that we did not have last year:
A greenhouse to be erected at The Fairbanks and operated by SCG which will extend the growing season, provide educational opportunities and a social enterprise that will educate budding entrepreneurs in the neighborhood on how to not only grow, but market produce by turning it into a value-added product
The use of a community kitchen in The Fairbanks that will provide a place for learning how to prepare value-added products from garden produce as well as a place for individuals to preserve their own produce
The Tom Watkins Community Farm where unused land will be turned into an urban farm with the help of many volunteers under the guidance of Dan Bigbee. This farm will use sustainable agricultural practices.
One new garden at Delaware and one on Pacific street near Washington Park.
Fire Station 8 and Isabel's House with the help of the Junior League of Springfield will help us create the new West Side Community Garden.
OUR FUNDRAISING GOAL FOR 2016:
$19,000 Operating expenses
$12,000 Seasonal pay for staff support
$17,000 50% annual salary for Executive Director
$12,000 Garden expenses
$60,000 Total Cash Funding
We are also always looking for donations of supplies and time equivalent to the needed cash each year. Whether you have garden tools, heavy equipment, two hands to plant seeds or a professional skill you'd like to share - we would love to have your help.View our strategic plan here.