For the third consecutive year, Mayor Michael B. Coleman, Columbus City Councilmember Priscilla R. Tyson and the Franklin County Commissioners have come together with partners to provide resources to community gardens. Administered through The Columbus Foundation, the grant supports new and existing gardens in the City of Columbus and throughout Franklin County, with awards up to $4,000 per project for supplies and services.

Community gardens improve nutritional offerings and reduce family food expenses while improving the quality of life of residents, providing vocational training and educational opportunities to students and creating a catalyst for neighborhood development.

“Community gardens do an exceptional job filling a void in neighborhoods,” Mayor Coleman said. “Where abandoned houses once stood, gardens are taking root, adding beauty and recreational space for neighbors to gather.”

Community gardens of all types are encouraged to apply for funding. Gardens focusing on growing fruits, vegetables and herbs or simply flowers and other greenery for beautification or stormwater control are eligible if the land is gardened for the betterment of the community.

“Columbus residents, businesses, and community groups are using these grants to grow gardens that promote healthy lifestyles and build stronger neighborhoods,” said Councilmember Tyson, chair of the Health and Human Services Committee. “That is why I made community gardens a priority when amending the 2013 Columbus Budget.”

Grant applicants must apply via The Columbus Foundation website (http://columbusfoundation.org) between February 15 and March 1, 2013. Winners will be announced at a celebration to occur on April 22, 2013, at Franklin Park Conservatory.

The City of Columbus and Franklin County are also joined by partners including The Institute for Active Living, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, The Columbus Foundation, Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, and CleanTurn LLC.