Twenty-five communities receive recognition from Mantis for efforts.
Twenty-five community gardens from across the United States – ranging from a former “concrete jungle” in the Sonoran Desert city of Tucson to a 4-H club in Illinois that donated more than 10,000 pounds of food to a local food bank – have been selected to receive the 2008 Mantis Award for Community Gardens. Each winning community garden has received a lightweight Mantis Tiller/Cultivator for use in its gardening program.
The criteria for selection, according to Steve LePera, media manager for Mantis, included evaluating the program’s vision, organization and service to the community. The Mantis Award for Community Gardens is an annual award that began in 1995.
“Each year, Mantis is delighted to recognize wonderful community gardening programs for their dedication to gardening education and their success in bringing positive gardening experiences to people in their local communities,” LePera says. “This year’s crop of community gardens is living proof that gardening makes the world a better place, one garden at a time.”
For more information about the Mantis Award, contact the National Gardening Association at 800-538-7476 or visit the Web site at www.KidsGardening.com. For more information about the Mantis line of gardening tools, visit the Web site at www.Mantis.com.
2008 Mantis Award Winners
(in alphabetical order by state)
Sunrise Drive Elementary School, Tucson
The Sunrise Elementary School garden program intends to turn an area that formerly housed two decrepit classroom trailers into eighteen plots available, free-of-charge, to community garden members and school neighbors. The community garden will incorporate water harvesting, compost from school lunches, organic pest control and xeric irrigation methods to promote sustainability in its design.
Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy, Flagstaff
The Colton Community Youth Garden along with the Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy and the Museum of Northern Arizona collaborate to put organic gardening methods and sustainability education into action. It is the goal of this garden to create a space for intergenerational and intercultural exchange by creating a permanent garden that teaches youth how to grow food through hands-on environmental education, provide a garden space that serves as a museum exhibit, and create a community garden space for senior living community members without access to arable land.
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