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The City of Irving recognizes community gardening as a valuable recreational activity that contributes to the health and well-being of the wider community and provides a wide range of environmental, social and educational benefits.

The City of Irving is offering an additional opportunity for non-profit organization to apply for grant funding, to assist in the development of a community garden program, through the Community Gardens Grant Program. Applications are being accepted through March 14.

To learn more, attend one of the free informational meetings listed below.

6 to 7 p.m. Feb. 6
West Irving Library, 4444 W. Rochelle Road

6 to 7 p.m. Feb. 10
Irving City Hall, First Floor Council Conference Room, 825 W. Irving Blvd.

10 to 11 a.m. Feb. 13
Irving City Hall, First Floor Council Conference Room, 825 W. Irving Blvd.

For more information, call Fran Witte, Environmental Programs Coordinator at (972) 721-2355 or email fwitte@cityofirving.org. 

 

About the Community Gardens

Purpose | Definition | Community and Individual Benefits | City of Irving's Role | About the Program | Application

I. Purpose

The City of Irving recognizes community gardening as a valuable recreational activity that contributes to the health and well-being of the wider community and provides a wide range of environmental, social and educational benefits. Irving’s Community Gardens Policy outlines the benefits of community gardens, and the support provided to the community gardens by the City of Irving.

II. Definition

Any piece of land, public or private located at a school, church, hospital, or part of a neighborhood association/homeowners association where plants are grown and maintained by a group of individuals, for the benefit of the community. Community gardens may produce food for individual consumption or donation to local food banks.

III. Community and Individual Benefits

A. Community gardens serve as outdoor education centers. Gardens provide the knowledge and resources that lead to the production and consumption of fresh, nutritious, and locally grown food.
B. Community gardens bring diverse people together for a common cause, leading to stronger, integrated communities.
C. Community gardens provide opportunities for people to maintain good health. Nearly all people, regardless of their healthy and mobility status, can grow gardens. The social networks that develop when gardening in community result in improved mental health and civic cohesion.

IV. The City of Irving's Role

The City will provide the following services to community garden groups. Community gardens established within the City of Irving must meet all applicable city ordinances and permit requirements. For more information, visit cityofirving.org.

Education and Training
• Assist in training community garden leaders with waste management and composting of garden materials.
• Offer educational materials related to composting, organic gardening and effective water management; and
• Provide online resources through the city's green Web page at cityofirving.org/begreen.

Support
• Help to connect local gardens to each other to help build relationships and encourage the sharing of information and experiences.
• Promote community gardens through online sources such as the city’s green Web page and other publications/events.
• Administer the Community Gardens Grant Program and process reimbursements.

V. Community Gardens Grant Program

A. Overview

The City of Irving offers grant funding, a minimum of once a year, in the amounts not to exceed $5,000 per application to help established or newly organizing community gardens. Only one application per organization will be accepted per city budget year.

  • The current annual budget for the Community Gardens Grant Program will not exceed $10,000. 
  • Submissions to Irving’s Community Garden Grant Program will be accepted October 1 through November 30. However, if funds remain after the first round of grant applications, another opportunity for grant application submission may be made available by the city at a time announced by the city, but within the same budget year.
  • All submissions will be reviewed by a committee consisting of Irving citizens from the Green Advisory Board and city staff. Grant recipients will be notified by the first of January. 
  • Costs associated with construction and/or installation of water meters, water lines and providing of water by the city are not eligible for grant funding. 


B. Eligibility

  1. Applicant must be a non-profit organization and may be an Irving church, school, neighborhood or homeowner’s association, hospital or other non-profit organization.  
  2. Eligible expenses include garden beds/containers supplies (wood, rock), walkways, benches, hand tools, bedding materials (soil and mulch), planting materials, organic garden supplies, small gas or electric powered garden tools and irrigation system supplies such as rainwater harvesting equipment, drip and/or soaker hoses. 
  3. Ineligible projects include water service, installation of water meter and water lines, tree removal,play equipment, overhead costs (office supplies, phone bills, etc.), food, gift cards, decorative fountains, decorative structures, and larger equipment such as riding lawn mowers. 
  4. Priority will be given to projects serving areas without access to fresh foods within the surrounding neighborhood and those educating participants about nutrition to families with limited resources.
  5. Organizations may apply each budget year. To apply each year, an organization must clearly explain the need for continued funding.


C. Guidelines

  1. Grant funding will not exceed $5,000 per city budget year. Only one application per organization will be accepted per yearly grant cycle.
  2. Projects must be located in the City of Irving and meet all applicable city ordinances and permit requirements. For more information, visit www.cityofirving.org.
  3. Award must be matched by volunteer efforts, in-kind, and/or cash donations.
  4. 25 percent of the harvest must be donated to a local food bank. 
  5. 75 percent of the community garden must be vegetables, fruits, or herbs. 
  6. In support of organic gardening techniques, funding cannot be used to purchase synthetic chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. 
  7. Community gardens must adhere to water restrictions per city ordinance. 
  8. Grant recipients shall install and use water conservation irrigation techniques such as drip, soaker hose, and/or rainwater harvesting.
  9. Gardens shall be located in areas that receive adequate sunlight for the intended purpose without the removal or excessive trimming of trees.
  10. Grant recipients shall continuously and diligently monitor the community gardens on the participant's property and shall not allow the accumulation of any trash or debris on the property.
  11. No illegal plants/substances shall be grown. 
  12. It is recommended that no invasive species plants be grown.
  13. Community education and awareness about environmental and healthy eating issues including, but not limited to water conservation, composting, food production and healthy eating is highly recommended.


D. Application Instructions | Download application :: Download Release from Liability and Indemnification by Participant Form

  • Applications will be accepted Oct. 1 through Nov. 30.
  • Deadline to submit an application will be Nov. 30. Applications received after this date will not be eligible.
  • All projects should have organizational support. Application needs to have signature of the head of the organization.
  • Elect one contact person and alternate to represent the applicant. This representative/s will be responsible for all communications in regard to the grant and will be the only member from the applying group eligible to request reimbursements.
  • Applications will be reviewed as they are received. A confirmation letter will be sent to the lead contact stating the status of your application.
  • Upon receipt of an award letter, grant recipient must sign and return the "Letter of Intent: to Fran Witte, Senior Community Outreach Coordinator for City of Irving," at the address provided. Grant funds will be made available after the Letter of Intent is received by the City of Irving.
  • The City of Irving is available to answer any questions. 


E. Project Scoring

  • The Applicant must demonstrate that the group has the capacity to carry out the project long-term and that the project will be sustainable – adequate volunteers, ongoing funding support, qualified leadership, proven track record.
  • The Applicant has provided evidence that justifies why the project is needed, and how the target audience will benefit.
  • The objectives are clearly defined and are in keeping with community priorities of health, environment, community building, neighborhood improvement, etc.
  • The budget is accurate and clearly delineates all allowable expenses to be funded by the grant.


F. Funding and Reporting

  • The City of Irving reserves the right to fund all or a portion of any community garden project application, which qualifies and is selected to receive funding as part of the Community Gardens Grant Program.
  • All projects using funds received from Irving's Community Garden Grant Program shall be completed by Aug. 1 of the funded year.
  • All reimbursement requests must be received by Aug. 31 of the funded year.
  • Reimbursements will not be rendered to support projects that are not stated in the award letter. Any significant changes in Community Gardens Grant projects or budget must be submitted and approved by the Office of Environmental Stewardship.
  • All payments will be rendered as reimbursements to the organization. Original receipts must be submitted.
  • Checks will be payable to the submitting organization.
  • All expenditures are subject to inspections by the City of Irving.
  • The final grant report is due no later than 60 days after project completion. 


G. Obtaining an Application

  • Grant applications will be available Oct. 1 through Nov. 30, unless otherwise noted by the City of Irving.
  • Applications will be accessible online; obtained from the Office of Environmental Stewardship, Irving City Hall, 825 W. Irving Blvd.; or by calling (972) 721-2355.
  • Application deadline is Nov. 30, unless otherwise noted by the City of Irving. Applications received after this date will not be eligible.
  • After completing the application please return application to the following: 


By mail or in person to:
Fran Witte, Environmental Programs Coordinator
c/o City of Irving
825 W. Irving Blvd.
Irving, TX 75060

  • If you have any questions regarding the grant application, please contact Fran Witte, Environmental Programs Coordinator at: (972) 721-2355 or by email at fwitte@cityofirving.org.