Growing Places Garden Project


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Improving the food security and nutrition education of people with limited economic means. GPGP does this primarily by providing gardens and education so that people can grow food on their own, and benefit from the new connections made during the learning experience. In many cases also sharing a bountiful harvest as well!

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Growing Places Garden Project

  1. 1. grow i n g p l a ce s garden projec t Growing Places Garden Project teaching learning working planting growing enjoying... • 2009 a nnua l re vi e w
  2. 2. Growing Places Garden Project • PO Box 17 • 75 Green Street • Clinton, Massachusetts 01510 • t: 978.598.3723 • D ecember 2009 D ear Fr iends, With food security, the economy, and health issues on the forefront of American minds, our commitment to helping people grow their own food and eat nutritiously has never been more important than it is today. Thanks to your thoughtful and generous support in 2009, we were able to serve almost twice the number of families. At the same time, we were expanding our services and enhancing our partnerships to increase the positive impact we have in the communi- ties we serve. Taking a huge leap forward, we: • Built 52 gardens serving more than 128 people in 14 towns, a 93% increase over 2008 • Grew our volunteer base by 69% • Introduced an “eat right” program to build a strong foundation in nutrition, cooking, and budgeting • Piloted our container garden program to benefit apartment dwellers and non land owners • Forged new partnerships with several organizations who share our concerns about community, health, and nutrition • Received an “innovation award” nomination from the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network We are proud of what we’ve accomplished this year and are inspired by the generosity and passion of those who make it all happen. Together, we are strengthening communities and helping families to be more self sufficient, more economically sound, and healthier. Best wishes to you and your family this holiday season. Sincerely, Jodi Breidel Cindy Buhner Executive Director Board Chair
  3. 3. grow i n g p l a ce s garden projec t t he s t a r t l i n g truth… It’s hard to believe that in a country like America, the risk of hunger is great. More than 37 million people, including 13 million children, don’t have access to enough healthy food to thrive and 37% of all households are at or below the poverty line1. By providing raised bed gardens and nutrition education to families in need, Growing Places Garden Project with the help from volunteers, do- nors and local businesses is making a difference in Massachusetts. To date we have helped more than 678 individuals grow food and eat healthier, and we invite you to read on about GPGP’s activity in 2009. “ The experience of planting seeds and having them become beautiful and healthy food was an amazing revelation for me on our mission every level. I saw how patience and hard GPGP’s mission is to improve the work can bring rewards and how the life food security and nutrition educa- force is both fragile and strong—but most tion of people with limited economic of all, my garden gave me hope and the means. GPGP does this primarily by sense that I can be a creator of abundance providing gardens and education so in my own life.” that people can grow food on their own. Malaena Nahimas GPGP Gardener 2009 Stow, MA GPGP gardens are: • Personalized for each family to accommodate dietary needs and personal preferences • • key highlights Environmentally friendly and can be maintained without 200 9 an nual re v ie w synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, fo r 2 0 0 9 • or herbicides Designed to grow enough • Built 52 new gardens produce for a 1- 4 person • Mentored 26 second year gardeners household each season and be maintained independently • Grew volunteer base by 69% by the third season • Forged new partnerships with Share our Strength’s Operation Frontline Leominster Housing Authority Twin City CDC Montachusett Opportunity Council (MOC) Maynard’s Open Table Minuteman Arc • Introduced new programs to enhance nutrition education and enable gardens to be grown in confined spaces Source: “Income, Poverty and Health Coverage in the United States:2007; U.S. Dept. of Commerce U.S. Census Bureau, August 2008 1
  4. 4. v is i b l e s u cce ss! growing food in “tight” places … container gardening eating right … For some time, GPGP has wanted to bring gardening to apartment growing knowledgeable consumers dwellers or to those with little access to land. Thanks to Connie Grabowy, GPGP volunteer and Board Trustee through 2009 and the Leominster In an ongoing effort to help people eat better and Housing Authority, we were able to pilot a program in 2009. feel better, GPGP has partnered with Share our Strength’s Operation Frontline to provide nutrition- There were eight participating individuals who were provided with based cooking classes to current and prospective three containers each and despite a challenging growing season, gardeners in the communities we serve. The 6-week, gardeners were able to harvest lettuce, toma- teacher-led curriculum is designed to: toes, chard, peppers, cucumbers, pole beans, • promote making healthy food choices, and basil. The learnings from the pilot highlight even with limited resources some of the challenges of gardening in a con- • teach lifelong cooking skills, practical nutrition fined space, such as the need for additional fertil- information, and food budgeting strategies izer, more frequent watering, and the loss of soil • provide participants with groceries at the nutrients. Modifications to the program will be end of each class to practice the recipes made before a more broad rollout in 2010. they’ve learned; Thanks Hannafords! Our first class of students told us how helpful their “hands on” experience was. Participants came away rebuilding neighborhoods... with a heightened awareness about their eating hab- through community gardens its, tools and strategies for making quick healthy meals, and a renewed appreciation for connecting with their This year GPGP partnered with Twin City Community Development families at meal times. Corporation (CDC) to establish a community garden in a troubled neighborhood in downtown Fitchburg. Through the help of our community partner, Cleg- horn Community Center, each session included an To prepare for the garden, Twin City CDC’s Community Organizing interpreter to accommodate multilingual families. Director, David Thibault-Munoz, worked with residents in the Elm Street area to develop bylaws, recruit gardeners, and generate a We look forward to rolling this program out to more renewed sense of pride and ownership in the neighborhood. Fitch- families in 2010. At last count, we already had 17 burg residents worked side-by-side to prepare the land by cutting people on the waiting list for the next session! down trees, mowing the grass, removing the brush, and getting local officials and businesses to assist in their efforts. On the day of the installation, a group of nearly 25 people consisting of GPGP vol- unteers, CDC staff, neighborhood residents, and local officials came together to build the garden and demonstrate their commitment to building a better community one neighborhood at a time. The Twin City CDC has already added a composting bin and plans are in place to expand the garden in 2010 and secure grant funding for an onsite shed.
  5. 5. grow i n g p l a ce s garden projec t visible success! reaching the kids... foundations that suppor t a healthy life Final plans for an After School Program are in place and we’re excited to extend nutrition education and cooking experiences to a wide range of children through the schools in our service area. The program will introduce children to more nutritious eating and show them how to make easy, nutritious meals. GPGP will work with the children and their families to offer complimentary garden programs. our first “fun raiser” • harvest celebration 200 9 an nual re v ie w fun, fun, fun when the during a fall nor’easter planting is done... On October 18, 250 friends, neighbors and business partners gathered to celebrate food, nourishment, knowledge, giving, and community for an evening of fun at The Strand Theatre in Clinton MA. This year’s event featured a delicious, locally grown meal, and a showing of the critically acclaimed film Food Inc., a documentary on some shocking truths about our food supply. We enjoyed hearty fall soups, delicious salads and warm apple crisp. All ingredients for the meal were generously donated by local farms and businesses in- cluding: Gibbet Hill Grill, Tailgaters Grille, Applefield Farm, Carlson Orchards, Nashoba Brook Bakery, Berlin Orchards, Bolton Orchards, and Dharma Harvest.
  6. 6. f e e d b a c k f ro m. . . “ GPGP’s passion for the cause is inspiring, and volunteers walk away from every build feeling reflective, as well as tired from a few hours of good, hard work. The issues of food, our gardeners … health, and the economy are on everyone’s minds these days, and GPGP offers a small survey results from gardeners but important solution. We are happy to be We reached out to the gardeners we worked with in 2008 and asked a part of this mini-movement! ” them to share their thoughts on their gardening experience. Sarah Webb Community Service Coordinator Groton School Overall, the gardeners fed their households and many shared their excess produce with neighbors and friends. The process of garden- ing was rewarding and many reported that they spent more time outdoors, ate healthier, and got more exercise as a result. • Average # of children per household 2.2 • % who ate fresh vegetables daily 63% • Ate more vegetables than previously 91% • # of gardeners who cooked more meals at home 100% • Gardeners who spent more time outdoors 92% • Gardeners who got more exercise 88% our volunteers ... survey results from our volunteers Our extended family of volunteers is an incredibly loyal and growing group that we literally could not do without. To date, we have more than 230 volunteers who come together each year to build the gardens and sow new seeds of growth in the community. The vast majority of our volunteers (83%) help us build the gardens but there are a growing number of volunteers who help with a variety of other responsibilities that include grant writing, mentorships/team leaders, nutrition education, and general administration. • % of volunteers that had a positive or very positive experience with GPGP 97% • % of volunteers that plan to volunteer again 94% “ My son and Igardening! aWe enjoyed experience had such wonderful watching things grow, caring for our garden, and trying new recipes together! ” GPGP Gardener 2008
  7. 7. grow i n g p l a ce s garden projec t listen to . . . our gardeners & volunteers new mentor program To help ensure the success of our gardeners and our organization, GPGP introduced two new volunteer roles in 2009—Garden Mentor and Team Leader. The Garden Mentor plays a key role in supporting families regardless of whether they are experienced or novice gardeners. Each mentor was required to spend a minimum of two hours with each gardener during the season to provide individual guidance, help establish priorities and goals, and monitor progress throughout the growing season. Our gardeners were thankful for the motivation, encouragement and the individual attention from their mentors! In an attempt to create a succession plan for the role that Kate and Cindy had tra- ditionally played in the organization, we introduced the Team Leader. Each leader • takes responsibility for managing and coordinating all the details associated with each garden installation and serves as the main point of contact for GPGP and the 200 9 an nual re v ie w gardeners the day of the build. With the addition of this role, we hope to expand and regionalize our operation so that we can serve more people year after year. Many thanks to our dedicated mentors and team leaders Cindy Buhner, Donna Mackie, George Davis, Kate Deyst, Daryll Clark, Kathy Fiorentino, Linda Russell, Liz Strachan, Lynn Dischler, Marlene Cote, Sonal Dhingra, Meg Bagdonas, Nikki Conzo, Pat White, Shirley Boudreau, Tiffany Doggett, and Wendy Metz “ Having the gardenSeniorin my apartment in the here Housing Center has changed my life. It has given me a purpose and extreme satisfaction. I look forward to next year. ” Mary Jane, Container Gardener, Leominster Housing Authority
  8. 8. more about our ser vices ... Growing Places provides its gardeners with the materials and expertise required to grow and harvest vegetables and herbs from raised-bed gardens for at least two growing seasons. In the first season, GPGP staff and volunteers prepare sites at the clients’ homes, assemble bed frames, and fill them with composted soil. A typical garden consists of three 4’ by 8’ raised beds. GPGP brings seeds and seedlings, offers gardeners guidance and assistance with planting, and gives advice on harvest- ing, storing, and using the garden’s produce. GPGP makes a strong effort to accommodate the gardeners’ dietary needs and preferences as well as physical abilities. In the second year, GPGP reconditions the garden beds, and again provides seeds, seedlings, and technical support. We hope to grow proficient gardeners who can maintain their gardens on their own and in subsequent years continue to grow fresh healthy food for themselves and their loved ones. In the 8 years since inception, GPGP has served a total of 218 households and more than 678 people. o u r h i s to r y. . . GPGP was founded in December of 2001 by Cindy Buhner and Kate Deyst. In 2008 Jodi Breidel joined the organization as the first full time paid Executive Director. At the same time, GPGP received a multi-year funding grant which provides declining levels of support over three years to allow time to increase fundraising capabilities. To that end, Jodi and the Board have developed a plan that establishes strategic priorities to expand GPGP services and strengthen the organization. year cumulative new # continuing from total households total served gardeners previous year served yearly 2002 5 5 N/A 5 2003 25 20 4 24 2004 50 25 15 40 2005 82 32 20 52 2006 111 29 23 52 2007 139 28 22 50 2008 166 27 23 50 2009 218 52 26 78
  9. 9. grow i n g p l a ce s garden projec t our service area… M a s s a c h u s e t t s. . . Acton Lancaster We service 22 communities in North Central Massachusetts Ayer Leominster and recruit gardeners through relationships with other Berlin Littleton organizations, via word of mouth and printed materials. Bolton Lunenburg Eligibility is determined by: Boxboro Maynard • Strong need (household income is less than or equal to Clinton Pepperell 200% of the poverty level). In 2009 the total income of an eligible four-member household was $44,100 or less. Devens Shirley Fitchburg Sterling • Availability of appropriate gardening space. Groton Stow • Commitment of 5-7 hours per week to tending a garden. Harvard Townsend Hudson Westford board of trustees… • 200 9 an nual re v ie w * missing from the picture is Dolores Thibault-Munoz B oard of Trustees meet the Cindy Buhner Co-founder and Chair Kate Deyst Co-founder and Trustee 2 010 boa rd . . . Pete Dumont Trustee Due to the number of new trustees coming Lisa Hamaker Trustee * new FY2010 member “on board”, GPGP kicked off FY2010 with board Maria Heskes-Allard Treasurer and Trustee training to review roles and responsibilities and Linda Russell Trustee * new FY2010 member GPGP’s mission, vision, and FY2010 goals. Vicente Sanabria Secretary and Trustee Dolores Thibault-Munoz Trustee * new FY2010 member
  10. 10. f e e d b a c k f ro m. . . tre a s u re r ’s re p o r t... FY2009 Un-Audited Financial Statements Presented on the next page are GPGP’s un-audited balance sheet and income statement for fiscal year 2009 (October 1, 2008 – September 30, 2009). Overall, GPGP remains in good shape financially, entering FY2010 with $94,000 in the bank and no liabilities. Revenues for FY2009 were $144,000 compared to expenses of $106,500 leaving a cash surplus of $37,500. However, it is important to note that $25,000 of a capacity building grant GPGP received in FY2009 was reimbursement for expenses incurred and paid out in FY2008. Consequently, if GPGP maintained its books on an accrual basis rather than a cash basis, the surplus would have only been $12,500. Compared with FY2008, GPGP’s expenses were significantly higher as a result of our continued transition from a volunteer staff to an organization led by a paid full-time Executive Director. In the first full year of this transition, GPGP has increased its outreach to 52 families, nearly double the number of new families served in any one season since inception. Additionally, GPGP has added on a new container garden program as well as nutrition education programs to families and schools within our service area. Continued growth is expected in FY2010. Projected expenses for FY2010 are $127,000. The increase in expenses is primarily driven by the addition of a part time program coordina- tor. On the revenue side, GPGP will receive $50,000 from a multiyear capacity building grant. Additionally, as of the writing of this report, GPGP had received over $20,800 in other donations and grants leav- ing a current fundraising gap of about $56,000.
  11. 11. grow i n g p l a ce s garden projec t s t a te m e n t o f activities ... INCOME 2009 2008 change donations 44,505* 32,869 11,636 grant income 99,620 27,791 71,829 interest income 85 104 (20) total income $144,210 $60,764 $83,446 EXPENSES administrative 19,747 34,319 (14,573) fundraising 3,822 1,517 2,305 program 82,462 35,391 47,072 total expenses $106,032 $71,227 $34,804 change in net assets $38,178 ($10,464) $48,642 * includes donations from Board and Staff b a l a n ce s h e et... 2009 2008 Change CASH 94,220 54,966 39,254 fixed assets 9,343 9,343 0 accumulated depreciation 7,342 (5,735) 1,607 net fixed assets 2,001 3,608 1,607 total assets $96,321 $58,574 $37,747 • 2009 a nn ua l re v i e w total liabilities 0 0 0 total net assets $96,321 $58,574 $37,747
  12. 12. wi t h o u t a l l o f you… individua l s & fo u n d a t i o n s . . David and Jane Andrew Rick High & Andy Perkins businesses & Anonymous Home Gardening Project Foundation o rg a n i z a t i o n s Margaret Bagdonas Beth Klarman Jodi and Dan Breidel Jeffrey C Koechling Applefield Farms Pamela Brown Sarah Lemaire Avidia Bank Caryl & Nicholas Browse Pat Loverro Bare Hill Studios Fiber Loft Cindy Buhner Donna Mackie Bay Leaf Studio Frank & Jen Buquicchio Lorena Mandozzi Beremco, Inc. Property Management Magdaline Caradimitropoulo Linda Mara Berlin Orchards Lori and Mark Champine Lynda Moulton Bolton Orchards Linda Chuss Eli and Barbara Berger Ofek Carlson Orchards, Inc. Diane L. Cordner N. Scott & Deborah Pierce Central Avenue Auto Repair David Craft Mark Price CitySprouts Jo Crawford Ruthann Prifty Clinton Savings Bank Crossroads Community Foundation Nancy Reifenstein Congregational Church of Harvard Mary Cutler Alice G. Rennie Dharma Harvest, Inc. Dancing Tides Foundation Linda Russell Dunn & Co. D’Eramo Family Gabriella Salerno DWD Restaurant Group Inc DBA Penny Dickson Georgia & Liang Li-Shiang Sassen Enterprise Bank Fitchburg Branch Lynn and Richard Dischler Dewey & Sherrill Sasser Enterprise Bank Leominster Branch John & Mary Deyst Vicente Sanabria Fallon Community Health Plan Kate Deyst and Ken Nickerson Paul Schimmel FCUC Harvard Pete Dumont Andrea Silbert FEDCO Seeds Inc. Eos Foundation Carol Ann Smallwood Forgione Lawn Care Alan Ferry Stephen Sashihara Fruitlands Museum, Inc. Mathieu Frankel Dolores Thibault-Munoz Gibbet Hill Grill Bob Gayles Salina A. & Evan D. Thomas Hannaford Supermarkets Risa Goldman Susan and Edward Toll Harvard Women’s Club Connie Grabowy Shirley Vasington Harvard Ecumenical Youth Group Green Leaf Foundation Peter Verheyen Hillside Garage Inc. Lisa Hamaker Robert & Laura Watkins Bart & Carol Hanlon Heidi Wharton Jeffrey & Ragnild Harris Patricia White Suzanne Hays Alice Williams Peter Wyman Mary Ysueta
  13. 13. grow i n g p l a c e s garden projec t w i t h o u t a l l of you… b usiness e s & vo l u n te e r s - cont ’d vo l u n te e r s - cont ’d organizations - cont’d Cindy Cadoret Joan Finger Kaliday Marketing Martha Caisapanta Kathleen Fiorentino Kotlarz & Associates Tracy Calabresi Barbara Frank Legacy Publishing Diane Callan Cathy Frary Leominster Credit Union Agata Berenice Calvo Pamela Frederick Mathworks Tony Capestany Beth Fredrickson Middlesex Savings Bank Dena Caradimitropoulo Charles Garman Moore’s Lumber Nashoba Brooks School of Concord Kathy Chadwick Carolyn Gillespie Nashoba Brook Bakery Champine Family Alan Gilson Nypro Inc. Jessica and Lindsay Cherubino Risa Goldman R.A. Hall & Co. Jennifer Chesworth Silvia Mabel Gonzalez Rollstone Bank & Trust Sharon Chiang Stacey Gordon Scentsibilities Darryl Clark Connie Grabowy Shaw’s Supermarket Bob Cleary Elizabeth Hall Sterling Marketing, Inc. Ashley Close Tailgaters Grille Lisa Hamaker Evan Cochrane Laura Harrington TD Banknorth Martin Cohen Jeffrey Harris The Barn School The Black Sheep Marcia Conants Janice Hart The Polus Center for Social & Economic Nikki Conzo Paula Hedrick Development Elizabeth Cooper Elizabeth Heichler The Wine Merchant Marlene Cote Thomas Hermley Vernier Design Inc. David Craft John Heudorfer Virginia Thurston Healing Garden Stephanie Crisp W. Boylston 5K Race Committee Clayton Hobart J. Marsha Croyle Westward Orchards Farm Store Patricia Hornridge-King George Davis • Christine House volunte ers... Piale De Gretchen Houseman 2009 a nnua l re vi e w Denali Delmar Amy Hsu Applewild School James DeLuco Susan Dempsey Linda Hughes Carolyn Albrycht Jane Andrew Jane Densmore Fredrica Introne Amy Armstrong Debra D’Eramo Sue Jackson Ben Ash Joseph D’Eramo Steve Jacobs Meg Bagdonas Danielle Descoteaux Polly Jenkins-Man Anna Barker Jan Johnson Meredith DeWitt Maureen Barr Melinda Jordan Sharon Barrett Sonal Dhingra Amy Beaulieu Lynn Dischler Liza Judge Nicole Begin Tiffany Doggett Reggie Jugovich Karyn Bender Pete Dumont Juniper Networks Bill Berthoud Joan Eliyesil Dennis Karwowski Diane Bishop Kathy Elkind Ron Kearns Christina Blake Sharon and Bill Kerns Becky Endicott Joe Bongiardina Rick Fadden Becca Kerr Shirley Boudreau Sharon Briggs Vince Farrell Jackie Keshian Breidel Family Ginger Fennel Helen Kilian Jennifer Burns Craig Ferrere Dara Kilpi
  14. 14. wi t h o u t a l l of you… voluntee r s - cont’d Laura & Alexander Kischitz Russ & Olya Russo Masami Knox Mark Saydah Andrea Koumjian Llewelyn Sherrod Jean Kowal Susan Shipley Kristina Kronauer Luci Simmons Ben Landry Christina Smith Marie LeBlanc Josh Solomon John and Susan Lee Liz Strachan Sarah Lemaire Gail Sun Patricia Loverro Hellie Swartwood Jeff Lucas Vicki Tardif Amanda Mack Swapna Telaprolu Donna Mackie Jan Teresko Marina MacNeil Dolores Thibault-Munoz Jennifer Maggiolino David Thibault-Munoz Sarika Maheshwari Jesus Torres Rosemary Maldonado Polly Vanasse Marian Mallioux Peter Verheyen Lynne Man Penni and John Wagner Meighan Matthews Michelle and Gary Watson Mathworks Sarah Webb Joe Maureen Phillips Alexis Weyers Jennifer McCann Black Pat White Chuck McCormack Ann Whitney Jean and Dave McKinley Christine Williams Julie McNeill Ryan Williams Wendy Metz Rebecca Wright Mary Miller Melissa and Ellery Yahia Chris Mohn Alexandra Muenze DePalo we fondly remember... Pat and John Myers Joanne Hall McKinley Ann Neal who contributed many hours of Ken Nickerson her thoughtful time and energy Debbie Noyes to us in 2009 Lisa Oldham Lawrence O’Toole Charity Parrott GPGP thanks all of our 2008 and Sam Peisch 2009 contributors and volunteers Barbara Pelkey who share our passion and enthu- Bob Porter siasm for serving the community. Amanda Price While we have attempted to list each Ruthann & Frederick Prifty and every contributor, we apologize Cathy Ricciardi in advance for any omission. Jonathan “J” Ricciardi Vinny Ricciardi Myrna Richmond Sarah Rosenfield Linda Russell
  15. 15. grow i n g p l a c e s garden projec t w i th o u t a l l o f you… special thanks to the following individuals for donating professional services: Publisher Suzanne Hays Creative Director Christine Lazorchak Nourishment Consultant Kathy Elkind Survey assessment Joe Bongiardina now available online ... Newsletters GPGP’s Growing Guide & Recipe Books Sonal Dhingra The Growing Guide offers a step-by-step approach to planning Development your garden and the recipe guide includes over 100 nutritious Hellie Swartwood recipes that many GPGP families and volunteers have provided to us over the years to use in our newsletters. Web Design Joan Eliyesal • 2009 a nnua l re vi e w
  16. 16. Growing Places Garden Project • PO Box 17 • 75 Green Street • Clinton, MA 01510 • t: 978.598.3723 •