The original item was published from February 8, 2019 8:16 AM to February 8, 2019 1:04 PM
Students at The Farm at Franklin Pierce, a 2019 Green Partnership Fund grant recipient, not only learn the basics of farming and how to grow food, they help contribute over 40,000lbs of fresh produce to the Franklin Pierce School District cafeterias each year!
The Green Partnership Fund, our small grants program, makes a big impact on our community. Like last year, it was a tough selection process for our committee of dedicated volunteers, who had to narrow the funding list down from 22 proposals requesting over $315,000, to just eight projects. While challenging, the committee was also really excited to see so many great projects being proposed.
Before we dive into this year's recipients, it's worth highlighting the impact that last year's grants had. In 2018 we funded seven projects, supporting partners that work on everything from food waste reduction, to salmon habitat restoration, to helping new farmers find land. All in all, last year's projects resulted in:
- 6,402 K-12 students reached with Environmental Education Programming
- 88 educational workshops that reached 433 people
- 24.25 acres of salmon habitat restored
- 7,128 native plants installed
- 566 lbs of food waste reduced resulting in 143 quarts of food preserved
- 614 volunteers dedicating 2,355 hours of their time to improving our community
- 1 new community garden in Orting
- 47 new farmers connected to the Farm to Farmer program
- and 1 new fish passage design project
A big THANK YOU and congratulations on a job well done are due to all of our partners: PCC Farmland Trust
, Citizens for a Healthy Bay
, Harbor WildWatch
, Nisqually Land Trust
, Center for Food Preservation Arts
, South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group
, and Orting United Methodist Church
For 2019, we're excited to announce our support for the following partners and projects:
Sound Outreach - $25,000 - Pierce County Food Project Incubation Platform:
this project will create a food project business incubator to support a diverse set of food growers from across Pierce County. Our community has the seeds of highly successful projects that can form into businesses, nonprofits, and co-ops, given adequate entrepreneurship support. This initiative will provide entrepreneurship training to help individuals who are engaged in food projects build them into successful ventures.
The Farm at Franklin Pierce - $5,000 - Restoration and Environmental Education Development: The Farm at Franklin Pierce School District is an educational hub for Franklin Pierce K-12 students and Pierce County residents. The goal of this project is to integrate and expand their existing agroecology curriculum to include ecological restoration by implementing a restorative planting near Swan Creek that demonstrates best management practices for wetland buffers, permanent native habitat, and water quality.
PCC Farmland Trust - $10,000 - Farm to Farmer Project Expansion: Building off the success of last year's GPF funded project, the year ahead will include more good work engaging farmers and landowners to facilitate matches. It will also include a dedicated focus on creating educational opportunities to help farmers start up/ expand their farm businesses. With more than two thirds of farmland owners in Pierce County at or approaching retirement age, the need to connect new farmers to land is more important than ever.
Center For Food Preservation Arts - $7,678 - Seed to Shelf to Table: After a successful pilot program in 2018, the Seed to Shelf to Table initiative is ready to expand in 2019 by more than quadrupling their impact from 2018. With 80 of their Preservin' for the Hungry and Canning Communities workshops, they'll preserve 2,500 lbs of food for eight local food banks, and teach 80 people the art of food preservation along the way.
Puyallup Watershed Initiative - $10,000 - Pierce County Tree Talks: This pilot project will improve water quality through urban tree canopy cover in Tacoma, Puyallup, and Sumner through a series of social and educational “Tree Talks.” By connecting roughly 200 residents and 6-9 local landscaping companies to resources, opportunities, and best practices, Tree Talks will lead to increased tree plantings and tree survivability.
Great Peninsula Conservancy - $5,000 - Rosedale Estuary Restoration: This project will engage community volunteers to remove invasive plants, plant native vegetation, and control stormwater at a four-acre pocket estuary site permanently preserved by Great Peninsula Conservancy in Rosedale, near Gig Harbor. With a stream flowing into that hosts both Coho and Chum salmon, this project will provide vital habitat for them and endangered juvenile Chinook, which rely on pocket estuaries for survival.
Nisqually Land Trust - $6,500 - Stewardship of Nisqually Watershed Habitat Restoration Projects: This project will engage community involvement in monitoring, maintaining and enhancing Land Trust properties in unincorporated Pierce County along Ohop Creek and the Mashel River, two key Nisqually River tributaries that are utilized by salmon and trout for spawning and rearing. 80 volunteers will help restore roughly 12 acres of vital salmon habitat by helping plant 1,200 native trees and shrubs.
Forterra - $6,500 - Prairie Restoration at the Morse Wildlife Preserve: This project will enhance and re-establish native prairie vegetation over about 8-acres of the Preserve with a special focus on smaller portions of the grassland/pasture area, some portions merging with the riparian buffer of the North Fork of Muck Creek, a tributary to the Nisqually River. With the help of 70 middle and elementary school students, 1,200 native plants will be installed along with re-seeding of 21,500sq. ft. of native grass.
Congratulations to all of this year's Green Partnership Fund awardees and here's to a successful 2019 full of great improvements to our community!