Community Garden Sustainability Fund

Are you a member of a community food garden? Could your garden use some support to become more sustainable?

Apply to the Community Garden Sustainability Fund for materials like compost, fencing and tools or technical assistance like consulting and educational programming.

The CGSF is a project of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and Grow Pittsburgh, sponsored in part by Allegheny County Economic Development, that exists to provide material and technical assistance to existing community food gardens in Allegheny County. These include gardens managed by schools, community organizations, shelters, religious institutions and individuals. The Sustainability Fund supports projects that will improve or enhance gardens so that they may have a long-lasting positive impact as part of their communities.  The program has been active since 2013, having supported 115+ community gardens with over $150,000 of materials.  

See below for a link to the application. Applications for Round 1 will be open March 1-April 1, 2021.  Applications for Round 2 will be open July 1-Aug 1, 2021.

Both application rounds are open to projects of any size within the following budget guidelines.  The majority of applications awarded are under $1000.  On a rarer occasion, we will fund projects between $1000 and $5000, but we do ask for more detailed information in the application including but not limited to a more specific proposed budget, images or design sketches of the project, and a detailed materials list.  This fund provides materials and consultation.  Requested materials will be purchased by Grow Pittsburgh or Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and delivered to the garden.

Some examples of garden projects this fund has provided:
□ A Group Membership to the Garden Resource Center
□ Seedling order from Grow Pittsburgh or your favorite garden center
□ A truckload + delivery of compost, mulch, or topsoil
□ Materials to repair or extend fencing
□ Hand tools and safety equipment
□ Season extension materials such as row cover, hoops

Garden groups must submit the following in order to be considered for support:
□ Completed online application
□ Written permission from landowner allowing gardening on the site
□ Updated Listing on Grower’s Map
□ Completed Community Garden Sustainability Survey.  The Sustainability Survey is an exercise to help you assess your garden’s assets and needs.  We look at the surveys to look for trends in area gardens more broadly:  Your overall score will not affect whether or not your Community Garden Sustainability Fund Application is approved or not. (Call or email for a paper copy.)

So, how do I apply?

Round 1 Timeline

Applications open March 1

An Information Session will be held on Wednesday March 3, 2021 1-2pm, via Zoom (link here).  Meeting ID:828 3491 3344 Passcode:403128.  There’ll be a brief presentation with plenty of time for Q&A.  In the meantime, you can watch last year’s recorded presentation (see Orange Button above).

Applications are due on April 1st

Decision notifications will be sent out around May 1.

We strive to fulfill all approved applications as soon as possible, but aim to complete all Round 1 projects by the end of June.

Applications will go live on Mar 1, 2021.  In the meantime, you can complete your Sustainability Survey at any time.

Round 2 Timeline

Applications open July 1

An Information Session will be held in early July, details TBD.  There will be a brief presentation about the application process and time for Q&A.

Applications are due on Aug 1st

Decision notifications will be sent out around September 1.

We strive to fulfill all approved applications as soon as possible, but aim to complete Round 2 projects by the end of October.

Have questions? Contact Garden Sustainability Coordinator, Alyssa Kail, at 412-362-4769 x 203 or alyssa@growpittsburgh.org.