The Huneebee Project: In 2018, The Huneebee Project received a $1,000 grant to pay their participants for their work in maintaining a community garden. The community garden is in Newhallville, making it easy for neighborhood children to pop in and see what’s going on, learning while participants are in action. Because of the Huneebee Project’s dedication to their community, there has been a massive increase in appreciation of the buzzing of honeybees in New Haven’s ecosystem. After the first year the Huneebee Project moved to The Hill section of New Haven.
The Huneebee Project seeks to help kids aged mostly 15-17 in developing interpersonal skills and methods to cope with trauma by aiding in the efforts of a community garden and its various duties. The participants are divided up into several groups, which are referred to as “cohorts”. Leaders at the Huneebee Project strongly emphasize the cohort’s autonomy. Cohorts have the option to handle bees, make and sell various honey products and learn to become better versions of themselves.
With the help of the Greater New Haven Green Fund (GNGF), the Huneebee Project has maintained a 100% retention rate and 16 participants have graduated from the program. With such a clearly successful and helpful program, the Huneebee Project has seen some of their previous graduates come back as peer instructors to help others along the path they have already walked. Peer instructors help with various activities that the program offers, such as bee handling, product creation and distribution and meditation practices. The first month of the program is focused on activities that help the cohorts get in touch with their minds and bodies, as well as each other. The participants' goal is to help around the garden, but it can be achieved through activities such as guided meditation, and what they call “tracking.” Tracking is rating three different elements of participants’ moods from 1-10. Through exercises like these, participants are able to not only bond with each other, but also with themselves.
To sponsor a hive or check out the Huneebee Project’s locally made products like fermented honey garlic, candles and seed packets, visit www.huneebeeproject.com.
Photo courtesy of newhavenarts.org
West River Neighborhood Service Corporation: The West River Neighborhood Service Corporation received two grants from the Greater New Haven Green Fund: $2,970 in 2011 and $4,048 in 2019. In 2011, the WRNSC was able to use their funds to purchase a hoop house for its Little Red Hen Community Garden. Six 2”x 12 x16 boards to be used as raised bed borders were purchased from Home Depot, and four pickup truck loads of compost were purchased from Common Ground High School for the community garden.
During the growing season, these interior raised beds contained sweet potatoes, Bon Ton winter squash and watermelons. WRNSC is currently using its 2019 grant funds to organize advocacy and community engagement for environmental justice, which includes education about adverse health effects from pollution and tools to improve health, as well as expanding the number of raised garden beds.
Photo courtesy of Field of Greens
Field of Greens: Field of Greens received a microgrant of $1,000 in 2014 to create raised beds and maintain their new community garden on Arthur Street in New Haven. They purchased a shed for storage of their tools in addition to several materials to secure the shed from being stolen. Purchased materials included rakes, shovels, hoes, pruning tools and a weed whacker to keep their garden looking beautiful. They also constructed a composting system out of pallets that they were able to collect from different businesses free of charge. They shared their produce with neighbors on Arthur Street. The grant from the GNHGF helped improve and maintain the Field of Greens Community Garden and offered a green space to the community.
Photo courtesy of Massaro Farm
Massaro Farm: In 2014, Massaro Farm received a $2,000 grant from the Greater New Haven Green Fund to support the installation of a native planting, near the farm’s Learning Garden. This area was made accessible during educational field trips and has since been incorporated into farm tours and nature walks.
Witch Hazel, Beech Plum, Virginia Sweetspire and Clethra are just some of the plants incorporated into the native planting area. These plants were chosen to provide a variety of height and structure on the north side of the farm. The planting area supports the farm’s ideal location for a diverse bird population.
Since the installation of the native planting area, Massaro Farm held numerous youth-based farm field trips and partnered with the 2016 International Festival of Arts and Ideas to host two farm tours.
Kensho Seed: In 2013, Kensho SEED (Sustainable Education and Ecological Development) an organization dedicated to community development, received a $1,000 grant from the Greater New Haven Green Fund to support their project that highlighted sustainable solutions to close the food and energy waste in urban settings by using educational programming based around different types of hydroponics systems and waste managements. The goals of the Kensho SEED project were to train youths in developing sustainable solutions to problems, increase the number of healthy, fresh food sources and bring awareness to the community about how to prevent further waste. The grant money was used to purchase supplies needed to finish the hydroponics systems and seeds, along with trays and grow mats for the seeds.
Photo courtesy of nhregister.com
New Haven Land Trust: In 2014, the New Haven Land Trust received a $3,000 grant from the Greater New Haven Green Fund to support their outreach program, designed to increase involvement in community gardens by empowering existing gardeners and advocating for more community garden space in New Haven. With the grant money, the New Haven Land Trust was able to create two new gardens, add additional space to other gardens and launch an incubator garden with New Haven Farms, as well as host monthly workshops throughout the growing season, all taught in different garden locations.
Photo courtesy of nhregister.com
Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven: The Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven revived a $1,000 micro-grant in 2014 to fund the improvement of the community garden on Stevens Street. In 2009, a once empty lot was converted into a community garden, but had been underutilized until 2014.
By improving and welcoming the neighborhood to the garden, many of the children living near the land would be able to benefit from learning about the natural cycles that occur in the garden, such as water infiltration and soil health, as well as the different types of vegetables growing in the garden. On September 27th, 2014, NHSNH held their “Evening in the Garden” event, featuring free food, arts and crafts, and music while students from a local education program recited poetry and other creative works in order to introduce the community to the improved garden space. With their grant, NHSNH was able to improve the Stevens Street community garden and increase community control over natural resources and to ensure the right to a clean environment.
Panther Garden Club: In 2014, The Panther Garden Club at Hill Regional Career High School was awarded a grant of $500 from the Greater New Haven Green Fund to construct raised garden beds, fill raised beds with topsoil, construct a compost center, and create a safe area for students to socialize and develop an interest in gardening. Part of the Panther Garden Club’s mission is to effectively teach students how to produce their own food and flowers using sustainable techniques. With the money from the Green Fund, the garden was able to create a space that not only helped beautify the school grounds but give students a space to explore their passion for gardening, educating themselves about how to grow sustainable foods in an urban setting, forming new friendships on the way.
Photo courtesy of Ivy Street Garden
Ivy Street Garden: In 2014, the Ivy Street Garden was awarded a $3,000 grant from the Greater New Haven Green Fund to complete the construction of their permanent greenhouse. This greenhouse was designed to be a model and conversation piece about green infrastructure, sustainable watershed management and alternative energies. The greenhouse installation was not only beneficial to the community garden members, but to local youth groups such as Solar Youth, as well as the entire Newhallville neighborhood. After the greenhouse was completed, Ivy Street Garden’s project partners hosted an open house and allowed members of the public to explore the new space and ask any questions they had. The members of the Ivy Street Garden encourage all of their neighbors to consider becoming involved in a community garden near them and learn more about healthy, sustainable agriculture.
Photo courtesy of Common Ground High School Facebook page
New Haven Ecology Project: In 2018, the New Haven Ecology Project received a grant of $10,000 from the Greater New Haven Green Fund in order to help build school gardens at Common Ground High School. These gardens would be used to help foster partnerships with three other New Haven public schools.The School Garden Resource Center at Common Ground was designed to encourage students in urban areas with little access to nature to develop a deep connection to the natural world. These school gardens benefit about 1,900 students from 19 New Haven Public Schools. Through lessons using gardens and bird habitats on the schools’ sites, students participate in educational field trips to Common Ground, which is part of an educational experience that teaches students the importance of maintaining a natural environment.
Greater New Haven Green Fund ℅ The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven // 70 Audubon St // New Haven, CT 06510 // 203-936-8136 // firstname.lastname@example.org