We are pleased to announce the top three winners of this year’s Growing Spaces In-kind Grant Awards. Each of these well deserving organizations has diligently planned and raised funds for their education programs that will include a Growing Dome® greenhouse. It is with great joy that we join the movements to contribute to and support these beautiful projects.
First Place: Columbine Elementary School in the Boulder Valley School District, Boulder, CO.
For three years this dedicated PTA group and the Growe Foundation have worked to raise funds primarily through the Whole Foods bag donation program for a 33 ft. diameter Growing Dome for their Garden and Greenhouse to Table Program. Their mission is to “encourage children to seek, grow, prepare and eat nourishing, delicious and sustainably grown food, empower them to make choices that have a positive influence on their personal health, family, community and surrounding environment, and create a more vibrant, hands-on learning environment.” They were seeking a Growing Dome because their “growing season can be disappointingly short and is largely outside the regular school year.” The greenhouse will serve a school comprised of 84% minority and/or low-income students which are at higher risk for negative health conditions that “can often be prevented through adopting routines of healthy food choices and exercise.” This program aims to serve other educational organizations, such as Growing Gardens and the YMCA, in their community as well. Boulder Valley School District administrators consider this a pilot project that may make way in the future for similar programs throughout the district. http://www.columbinepta.org/greenhouse–garden-to-table.html
Second Place: Friends of the Pine River Public Library in Bayfield, CO.
The list of partnerships formed around this project and large community garden benefit people of all ages. Partners/collaborators in this project include the Bayfield Early Education Program, Bayfield School District, La Plata Family Center Coalition, Bayfield Parks & Rec and the Bayfield Senior Center, the Pine River Garden Club, La Plata County Extension Office, Frosty Pines Wilderness Education Programs, as well as numerous other community organizations (Rotary, Chamber of Commerce, Lion’s Club). In their words, “The garden is truly a space for everyone.” The mission of the garden and the library is “We connect people with possibilities!” The Pine River Community Garden and greenhouse “will be an interactive ‘living library’ focused on community building and various practical literacies. The purpose of the garden is demonstration, participation, and cooperation in gardening, water conservation, food production and preparation, and natural construction.” Growing Spaces is providing support not only in terms of the in-kind grant to assist with the purchase and construction of the 22 ft. diameter geodesic dome greenhouse, but also to partner with the Friends of the Pine River Public Library by offering gardening classes at the library. Even as ground-breaking has begun and the outdoor beds have been built, the project is gaining momentum and vast exposure. Over 500 people attended the grand opening this last February. The foundation for the Growing Dome greenhouse has already been poured and construction in slated to begin soon. To learn more about the Pine River Community Garden Living Library visit: http://prlibrary.org/LivingLibrary.asp … for more information on the Friends of the Pine River Public Library go to: http://www.prlibrary.org/friends.asp
Third Place: Mission: Wolf in Westcliffe, CO.
At Mission: Wolf they state that “the goals are threefold: First, we rescue and provide sanctuary for wolves and wolf-dogs in captivity. We have a horse rescue as well. Second, we provide a solar-powered nature center to educate the general public about wolves, sustainability, and the environment. Third, we operate with limited funds and volunteer labor that creates an inspiring experience for visitors and a model of sustainability.” The purpose of including a Growing Dome greenhouse at their facility will be to provide food, year-round for the volunteers and staff, to inspire visitors, and to “demonstrate sustainable technology”. Mission: Wolf shared with us about how the wolves help lead visitors to a larger understanding of how we as humans can help. In Mission: Wolf’s own words, ” Most people come here for the wolves, but leave with an understanding that if they want to see wolves back in the wild, animals respected, and habitat preserved, our society needs to start respecting our planet.” The 15,000 visitors each year will see the 26 ft. diameter Growing Dome adjacent to the community campfire as a centerpiece for the sustainable work going on at this educational nature center. To learn more about Mission: Wolf’s sustainability buildings and features visit: http://www.missionwolf.org/menu/sustainability/ … to donate to help the wolves and the mission of spreading the message about sustainability visit: http://www.missionwolf.org/donate/
Growing Spaces LLC is a “Triple Bottom Line” company serving people, planet and profit equally so that we can be in business to help people come into a better, healthier way of life AND raise awareness about caring for this planet we live on. We are a socially responsible business that has always given back to schools and communities around the world, primarily in the form of discounts on our Growing Dome greenhouses. We have formalized these discounts to school and community Growing Domes into the Growing Spaces In-Kind Grant Program. We accept applications throughout the year for this program and have a deadline for the current year giving of March 30th. Awards are announced in June/July for that year. To apply for the grant you must fill out and submit our application form. All instructions on how to do so are contained on the first page: https://growingspaces.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Growing-Spaces-Grant-Application.doc