With support from Franklin Park Conservatory
and the Columbus & Franklin County Local Food Action Plan
Central Ohio is a thriving hub for community gardening and urban agriculture. The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation, The City of Columbus, and Franklin County utilize a single application and review process to maximize funding and material resources to gardens and to provide financial and material resources to re-purpose underused land and to create, continue, or expand community gardens and greenspaces to:
- Increase healthy, affordable, and local food access and education, particularly for people in under-resourced neighborhoods;
- Connect individuals to the life-enhancing benefits of community gardens and greenspaces, including health and wellness, environmental, community building, and beautification.
Nonprofit gardening efforts may apply for funding (up to $3,000) and in-kind product donations (up to $600 from The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company) on a yearly basis. Ongoing operational or personnel costs are not allowable expenses.
New and existing gardens and greenspaces, including community gardens, school gardens, pollinator gardens, and beautification efforts.
- 501(c)(3) status or a fiscal sponsor;
- Location in Columbus or Franklin County;
- Ability to complete project within one calendar year from date of application.
- Applications open the last Friday in August and close the last Friday in October, and awards will be announced annually in January.
- Explore the Frequently Asked Questions and Parcel Summary Instructions. For other potential funding sources, explore Additional Garden Grant Opportunities and Resources.
For questions, please contact Victoria Prokup.
Based on what criteria are grants awarded?
The proposal’s alignment with the Urban Gardening Grant; and the ability to describe the garden’s intended impact on the community, capacity of the responsible party to carry out the project, sustainability plan for the garden and the garden project’s budget.
How do I know if my garden is located in a City of Columbus or Franklin County eligible area?
Who is eligible to apply for the grant?
Both new and existing gardens that are either themselves a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) registered with the Internal Revenue Service or have partnered with a 501 (c)(3) as their fiscal sponsor. Examples of applicable groups are neighborhood groups, churches and block watches. Eligible gardens must benefit a group of people, and not be for personal benefit.
What are the most important things to remember when securing a fiscal sponsor?
Prior experience with the fiscal organization is advised to ensure communication upon receiving grants and throughout the season. Make sure you have a trusting and working relationship with your fiscal sponsor to ensure accountability in all fiscal matters. Checks will be made out to the fiscal sponsor. They are responsible for releasing funds to the garden group.
Can the fiscal sponsor and the garden group be different?
Yes, your garden group may be a neighborhood group, a church, a block watch or similar organizations. Your fiscal sponsor must be registered with the Internal Revenue Service as a nonprofit 501 (c)(3).
How much money can I apply for?
Gardens may apply for up to $3,000 for supplies and/or contracted services. This does not include any in-kind product awards from ScottsMiracle-Gro.
What items are NOT eligible for grant funding?
Personnel or ongoing operational costs and utility bills, and items that do not align with the grant purpose and funder priorities. The list is subject to the reviewers’ discretion. It is possible that an eligible item may not be funded due to funding limitation, or grant making prioritization.
Do grant recipients receive anything in addition to the monetary award?
Yes, ScottsMiracle-Gro provides in-kind donations of in-ground soil, topsoil, mulch, all-purpose plant food, and humus and manure. Recipients can receive up to $600 worth of product, although the exact amount and types of products vary from year to year. Awards are based on needs and product availability.
In the application budget, may I apply for funds to purchase additional soil, mulch, plant food, etc. outside of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation products donation?
Yes. Provide ample justification throughout the application and in the budget for why the ScottsMiracle-Gro donated product is not sufficient for the needs of the garden. Funding for product is given at the discretion of the grant reviewers, and is based on justification, need and funding availability.
How and when are awards announced?
All grant notifications will take place by the end of March 2022.
When are grant funds distributed?
Grant funds are distributed after The Columbus Foundation has received the signed grant agreement from the recipient 501(c)(3) organization. For those gardens utilizing a fiscal sponsor, it is advised that you confirm when they should expect the grant agreement notification and agree upon a timeline for the grant agreement to be signed and returned for payment.
Is a garden considered New or Continuing if there was a previous garden on the same site, but has since been demolished?
If nothing can be salvaged from the previous garden such as garden beds, soil or plants, the garden can be considered new. For additional questions, please reach out to Victoria Prokup.
Will requests for resources/materials for cooking demonstrations and cooking classes be accepted as a part of the application budget?
Yes, as long as those resources/materials are directly tied to healthy eating education linked with the garden. Requests for funding will be at the discretion of the reviewer.
Does the landowner need to sign the Acknowledgment Document?
Yes, the landowner must sign the Acknowledgment Document, or else the application will be considered incomplete and unable to be considered for funding.
If the garden site is owned by the Land Bank, should the Land Bank sign as the Land Owner on the Application Acknowledgment form?
Yes. All gardens located on Land Bank sites must have the Application Acknowledgment Form signed by the appropriate Land Bank representative.