SFC Awarded Austin Parks Foundation Grant
We are so excited to share the news that SFC was awarded a $12,020 grant on behalf of Austin Parks Foundation for our project at MLK Station Neighborhood Park and the SFC Teaching Garden!
These gardens represent important educational and food security assets to the Chestnut neighborhood and the wider Austin community. The City-sponsored Community Garden has expanded to keep up with interest in gardening; the bounty from 55 plots gives food for the households that tend those gardens — some 100-150 people. The Teaching Garden is a valuable space usable for a wide variety of programs for all ages. For instance, the City uses the Teaching Garden as part of its Earth Camp field science program for fifth graders during the school year.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, SFC has suspended its volunteer programming in observance of safety protocols. What’s more, SFC’s gardening classes pivoted to virtual during the pandemic, meaning the amount of activity in the Teaching Garden has been much reduced during the past nearly 24 months.
This grant from The Austin Parks Foundation will help to support a much needed refresh, including repairs and planting for the Teaching Garden, improvements to existing hardscaping and other amenities (e.g., raised beds and benches), and management of poison ivy and other brush that has grown up into the garden spaces. This project, conducted in partnership with the City, will ensure that the gardens continue to serve the surrounding neighborhood as safe, beautiful spaces that convey the rewards of being directly involved in the food system by growing one’s own food.
Neighbors and community gardeners use the garden every day. In fact, as the surrounding population has grown and the Hike and Bike Trail expanded to the area adjacent to the garden, the Teaching and Community Gardens are being used more than ever. Improvements to the gardens will benefit all users.
A big thanks to the Austin Parks Foundation for this incredible support to our community, we at SFC will keep working hard to make a better livelihood.