FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
David Cheng, Communication Manager
Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
[email protected] | 215-988-1631
The U.S. Botanic Garden (USBG) and American Public Gardens Association have partnered to offer immediate support to established urban agriculture and other urban food-growing programs at public gardens affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This week, the USBG and the Association awarded $378,000 to 28 public gardens across the United States to help sustain urban agriculture and community food growing during this challenging time. The Urban Agriculture Resilience Program aims to promote resilience, grow capacity, prevent shortfalls, and gather best practices from established programs across the U.S. public gardens community.
The PHS City Harvest program was one of the recipients awarded funds to continue its work during the pandemic. The program utilizes the network of PHS managed community gardens and local partners to donate seedlings and ensure communities in need have access to fresh and healthy food. The program continues to work during the pandemic by following social distancing guidelines and help meet the increased demand at local food pantries during this time of heightened food insecurity.
With the assistance of these funds, participating gardens in 19 states and Washington, D.C. will be able to grow and distribute produce, especially to communities with food access challenges; maintain and expand urban agriculture and other food growing education programs; and promote wellness and nutrition by educating the public about growing and consuming fruits and vegetables. Beyond providing immediate support, the Urban Agriculture Resilience Program will provide insight into successful approaches and future opportunities for public gardens—though varying program models—to improve food access and advance food and agriculture education in urban communities, particularly during times of crisis.
“Especially now, during this unprecedented health and economic crisis, communities need access to healthy, fresh foods. We are proud to be able to support our fellow public gardens in their vital work of helping local communities grow and gain access to more fruits and vegetables and achieve better nutrition,” said Saharah Moon Chapotin, executive director of the U.S. Botanic Garden.
“We appreciate the fantastic work public gardens across America are doing every day to support communities to provide horticultural knowledge and food security, especially during this very challenging time,” said Casey Sclar, executive director of the American Public Gardens Association.
Gardens awarded funding include:
In addition, the U.S. Botanic Garden has expanded a previously existing collaboration with the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Windy City Harvest to support programming that will provide fresh produce and nutrition education to people with diet-related diseases who are also experiencing food insecurity.
The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, an internationally recognized nonprofit
organization founded in 1827, plays an essential role in the vitality of the Philadelphia region by creating healthier living environments, increasing access to fresh food, growing economic opportunity, and building deeper social connections between people. PHS delivers this impact through comprehensive greening and engagement initiatives in more than 250 neighborhoods; an expansive network of public gardens and landscapes; year-round learning experiences; and the nation’s signature gardening
event, the Philadelphia Flower Show. PHS provides everyone with opportunities to garden for the greater good as a participant, member, donor, or volunteer. For information and to support this work, please visit PHSonline.org.
About the United States Botanic Garden
The United States Botanic Garden (USBG) is the oldest continuously operating public Garden in the United States. The Garden informs visitors about the importance and fundamental value and diversity of plants, as well as their aesthetic, cultural, economic, therapeutic, and ecological significance. With over a million visitors annually, the USBG strives to demonstrate and promote sustainable practices. The U.S. Botanic Garden is a living plant museum accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and Botanic Gardens Conservation International. www.USBG.gov
About the American Public Gardens Association
The American Public Gardens Association is the leading professional organization for the field of public horticulture. We advance the field by encouraging best practices, offering educational and networking opportunities, and advocating on behalf of our members, our programs and public gardens worldwide. We work together with our members and others to strengthen and shape public horticulture, providing the tools and support industry professionals need to better serve the public while preserving and celebrating plants creatively and sustainably.
Since 1940, we have been committed to increasing cooperation and awareness among gardens. Our members include more than 600 institutions, spanning 49 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, and 20 countries. Our members include, but are not limited to, botanic gardens, arboreta, zoos, museums, colleges and universities, display gardens, and research facilities.