Beyond the Pitch

Franklinton Gardens Awarded First START Grant

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I am excited to announce that START, our region’s first-ever entrepreneur giving fund powered by Columbus startups, has donated its first grant to help Franklinton Gardens launch its new educational garden.

START launched in December with Rev1 Ventures seeding the fund with an initial gift and has doubled its amount with help from entrepreneur donations and another match from Rev1 Ventures in just three short months. Beyond financial support, START helps raise awareness for impactful programs, like Franklinton Gardens, by connecting people with great ideas to people with great experience building businesses.

Franklinton Gardens started as a lone community garden on a small vacant lot and is now a thriving network of gardens and food production sites scattered throughout the neighborhood’s urban landscape. Its organic food production efforts provide fresh produce to more than 30 local families and its programming offers a wide range of garden-based activities, educational initiatives, and employment opportunities to empower neighbors and build a healthy community.

Franklinton Gardens will match the four targeted initiatives of START:

Connecting Communities

The education garden site is situated on what is often called the Civic Corridor of Franklinton, and major neighborhood anchors such as Mount Carmel, Gladden Community House, Franklinton Gardens, St. John’s Episcopal Church, and the Franklinton Library exist within a few blocks of the garden. The education garden is meant to create a park-like green space along this civic corridor and will offer neighborhood-centered programming that connects all demographics of the neighborhood.

STEM Education

The garden will be located adjacent to two major youth education centers – Avondale Elementary and Gladden Community House. Garden education curriculum that promotes STEM standards will be developed and delivered to area youth.

Sustainable Food Solutions

Franklinton Gardens is a sustainable food solution. This educational garden will serve as a venue where Franklinton Gardens can extend our urban farming knowledge to the rest of our community in an effort to inspire home-scale food production and additional urban farming activity by our neighbors.

Workforce Development

Through the City of Columbus’s Learning Skills to Lift Neighborhoods workforce development grant funding, Franklinton Gardens will be working with Clean Turn to train restored citizens in skills pertinent to developing sites for Urban Agriculture. The initial training will be held during the educational garden’s development, and additional training will follow.

The Educational Garden site will be leased to Franklinton Gardens for 5 years. The next step in initiating this multi-year program is securing funding to hire a seasonal education coordinator. We are enthusiastic that the START grant can serve as seed funding for this coordinator position so that we can create a stronger community by pursuing the goals described above.

For the full press release, click here.

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