New program to further the development of gardening education kicks off
It is with great pride that we announce the debut of a new initiative to expand the Society’s efforts to “encourage the enjoyment, appreciation and understanding of plants, the environment, and the art and science of gardening”–the mission of our great 136 year-old organization.
As you may know, CT Hort has been funding scholarships at the University of Connecticut College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources since 1959. We are one of their longest-running scholarship donors. In 2010, the CT Hort Board of Directors voted to begin offering scholarships to students attending the horticulture program at Naugatuck Valley Community College.
Earlier this year, the Board approved the formation of a Civic Project Committee to administer a grant program to support community efforts to educate our great state on the importance of plants and our precious environment. The generosity of donors and members affords us the ability to begin with a total of $2,500 in grants that will be awarded this May. There are no restrictions on who can apply, but the grant must be used on a project taking place in the state of Connecticut. The maximum amount available per grant is $500 and anyone who wishes to apply can do so online from March 1 through April 30.
Our hope is to reach gardening enthusiasts and communities that may not currently be aware of our purpose. We wish to support and encourage grass-roots efforts to bring natural spaces and ideas to all corners of our state. Going forward, we plan to award two rounds of grants for a total of $5,000 next season, which runs from September 2023 to August 2024.
We are also hopeful that this model will resonate with donors who will decide to support the CT Hort Cares grant program. The green DONATE button found at the very top of our website now includes the choice to use your donation for Civic Projects. “This is new and exciting opportunity for us to provide new ways to further the love of all things gardening through our communities, schools and local organizations in the state,” said CT Hort Board
President Cheryl Marino. “It furthers our commitment of education in the field of Horticulture. We are looking forward to seeing what new programs we can support.”