Community Donations

Metropolitan Garden Club of Portland promotes and supports local community organizations dedicated to sustainability and organic gardening practices.

2016 MGCP Donation Recipients

The board is once again honored to announce our club’s continued financial support of three outstanding organizations: Growing Gardens, Lettuce Grow Garden Foundation, and Janus Youth Project’s Village Gardens. This helps us to fulfill an integral piece of our mission statement: “To enhance the experience of gardening and promote the general interest in individual and community gardens through membership, networking, education and civic activities.”

Our fundraising efforts have, for the third year in a row, allowed us to increase our donations from the previous year. This year we are donating $3,000 ($1,000 to each organization).

GROWING GARDENS
http://www.growing-gardens.org

Named as one of the best 100 Nonprofits by Oregon Business 2014 Growing Gardens gets at the root of hunger in Portland, Oregon, through three focused programs: Home Gardens, Youth Grow and Learn & Grow Workshops.

Through Learn & Grow workshops and work parties, they teach gardeners all about growing, preparing and preserving healthful food while respecting the health of the environment.

Home Grow
Limited income households don’t always have the option to put fresh nutritious food on the table. The Home Gardens Program decreases chances of food insecurity by empowering families to grow food for themselves, friends and neighbors right outside their doorstep.

With the help of hundreds of volunteers, Growing Gardens installs raised garden beds in the yards of low-income households. Gardeners in apartments or with limited space receive containers to grow food on patios and porches. Each household is enrolled into a three-year support program.

  • Since 1996 we have installed over 1100 home/apartment gardens throughout Portland,
  • Our Growing Huertoes program serves Spanish speaking children and their families.
  • Working with Home Forward, we helped design and build a community garden and nutrition program at Stephens Creek Crossing, a housing development that serves 122 low-income families in Southwest Portland.
  • We present workshops through our open to the public Learn & Grow workshop series. 

Youth Grow
(After school garden clubs, summer garden camps, school gardens, parent/child workshops, and youth garden education training)

Youth Grow programs encourage the next generation of veggie eaters and growers to be healthy. Their programs improve nutrition and decrease the risk of food insecurity by teaching low-income children lessons in where food comes from, the importance of eating fruits and vegetables and how to grow food through fun hands-on activities.

  • We Partner with 7 high poverty schools to provide food gardening educational programs. An 8th school will be added this spring.
  • We developed an after school program which reaches 320 low-income elementary aged children.
  • We developed in-class garden activities that support student academics particularly in science.
  • We developed an in-depth summer youth educational program reaching 245 children.
  • We use school-based garden education to bring parents into their children’s schools.

LETTUCE GROW GARDEN FOUNDATION
http://www.growing-gardens.org/

Working in prison gardens – sowing seeds of CHANGE

This past year, the Lettuce Grow Garden Foundation merged with Growing Gardens, a local non-profit organization dedicated to garden based education and promoting food justice for all!

Mission Statement: Growing Gardens’ mission is to reduce hunger and transform lives thru the experience of gardening and growing your own food. We work with thousands of volunteers to build organic vegetable gardens at homes, schools and correctional facilities. We provide education, supplies, seeds and plants, mentoring and more. Our work changes lives.

Provides gardening education and garden support in Oregon to 12 of the 14 adult correctional institutions; 3 juvenile residential corrections sites; and, one youth detention site. Classes offered include Seed to Supper (OFB), OSU extension Service Sustainable Gardening Syllabus and new this year, Greenhouse Management. Since 2009 500 inmates have received certificates of Home Horticulture from the OSU extension service average score 86%.

JANUS YOUTH PROGRAMS VILLAGE GARDENS
http://villagegardens.org

Village Gardens Mission and Motto
Village Gardens brings a spirit of hope to the people by growing and sharing healthy food, learning and teaching skills, and empowering community leadership.

The Story of Village Gardens
Since 2001, Village Gardens has reclaimed and empowered low-income neighborhoods through community food projects. In neighborhoods characterized by hunger, poverty, crime, school failure and isolation, children, teenagers, adults and seniors are transforming their communities.

Village Gardens now includes individual and family garden plots; employment opportunities for adults and teens; after-school and summer activities for children; homework clubs; an emerging livestock project; a community health worker program; a youth-run entrepreneurial business growing and marketing specialty salad mixes at local farmers’ markets; and now, a community healthy corner store project.  Village Gardens programs are organized into the following main branches:

Food Works
Food Works is a youth employment and empowerment program that engages 14-21 year-old young people in all aspects of planning, growing, selling and donating over 4,000 pounds of organic produce each year from their 1-acre organic farm on Sauvie Island. Food Works Crew Members learn business, leadership, organic agriculture, and other important work and life skills through working as team to market their food at farmers markets and local grocery stores. They are donating a significant portion of the food they grow back to their community. Crew Members also receive school credit for their work and are supported to transition into other employment opportunities and to succeed in their academic goals (five Food Works’ graduates, all immigrants from East Africa, have received college scholarships through Janus’ Scholarship program).

Community Programs

Seeds of Harmony Garden
Our 35,000 square feet of resident-led vegetable gardens and 30 fruit/nut tree orchard are located in the Cathedral Gardens (formerly the St. Johns Woods), New Columbia and Tamaracks housing communities. The gardens provide a sustainable and affordable source of healthy, organic fruits and vegetables for over 300 neighborhood residents each year. They also provide a safe place to relax with friends.

Fruits of Diversity
The Fruits of Diversity Orchard located just north of the Seeds of Harmony Garden in New Columbia is home to 44 varieties of fruit and nut bearing trees and bushes. Portland Fruit Tree Project will host monthly work parties beginning in February. Join us for work parties on the following days with the following possible topics. Contact Eca-Etabo Wasongolo for more information at ewasongolo@janusyouth.org.

The Livestock Program
In order to provide affordable, locally produced organic protein to the community while building economic opportunities, a committee of adult community members are raising twenty laying hens in St. Johns Woods apartment complex. Committee members take home one dozen eggs a week in exchange for tending to the chickens.

Village Market
Come support the Village Market at 4632 N Trenton St, Portland, OR, 97203!  Visit us and enjoy a selection of affordable, fresh and healthy products. The store features meats, produce, dairy, breads, household items, ethnic spices, fresh coffee, a selection of grab and go, healthy snacks for kids, and bulk items.

Community Kitchens
We are hosting monthly community kitchens to share ideas, learn skills, and support each other, cook healthy meals and share great food. Please contact our Community Kitchen leaders, Rebecca and Vicki, at community kitchens@gmail.com to get involved.