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MEEC Urban Pollinator Grant Awarded to Unity Garden

Tara Poling, Program Coordinator at MEEC (Marianist Environmental Education Center) and Marianist Retreat Centers liaison for MFEP shares this update with us.

We are thrilled to announce that we have awarded our second Urban Pollinator Fund grant to Unity Garden in Dayton's Riverdale neighborhood. Unity Garden is an ambitious project which will eventually cover about six city blocks of land owned by Grandview Hospital (now Kettering Health Dayton.) Central to their vision is a community vegetable garden to serve African refugees in the neighborhood and allow them to grow food varieties familiar to them. They are partnering with Old Dominion Academy to incorporate the garden into the school's curriculum and will provide hands-on learning opportunities for students of all ages. They have diverted more than 10,000 of food waste from Dorothy Lane Market as compost to enhance soil health at the site. Because of pollinators' roles in food production and the mental and physical health benefits of access to nature, they applied to the fund. Michele Banker, our land manager, has been working with Bruce Kidney, the project's founder and manager, to complete a site assessment and plan to integrate a pollinator garden. We expect to deliver native plants for installation this spring and look forward to partnering with them on educational outreach.

Read more about this project here.

I've been in touch recently with last year's recipients, the Dayton Friends Meeting, to check on their pollinator garden. Everything is coming up, and they're planning to install a rain garden this year! We're also helping them identify an Eagle Scout to help them design and build a meditation/respite bench for the community as well as those who rely on the nearby bus stop.

[Source: Urban Pollinator Grant Awarded to Unity Garden | MEEC; Photo credit: Jim Noelker, Dayton Daily News]

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