Albion College recently received a $5,000 grant from the Calhoun Conservation District People’s Community Gardens initiative. The grant will support the Albion Community Gardens Network with equipment and supplies.
"Up to this point, the community gardens in Albion were working more or less independently," said Albion College Whitehouse Nature Center Director David Green, who will manage the grant. "The goal of the Gardens Network is to combine forces. The Albion College Student Farm will support these smaller gardening initiatives with labor, equipment, and expertise. It will enhance the initiatives going on throughout the city."
The grant will assist the Albion College Student Farm in moving to its new location on the east side of the Nature Center, and provide for fencing and farming equipment.
Other grant funds will go to Albion Community Gardens Network members: the Vision of Life Community Center garden, the Wildcat Garden (located at Albion High School and founded by women's and gender studies professor Trisha Franzen and Rachel Keener, ’12), and the Washington Gardeners. Located on the grounds of the now-closed Washington Gardner School, the Washington Gardeners’ raised beds will be moved to other network gardens or other places in Albion.
Green reported that the Student Farm also recently received a gift from former trustee Richard Baird, ’78, that will fund a hoop house at their new site. The hoop house will allow year-round gardening and a place for the student farmers to start seedlings for the Community Garden Network. "It's much cheaper to start seeds rather than buy plants," Green stated. "The hoop house and the student farm will be a big asset in helping the community gardens have good growing seasons."