Each year, the City of Durango provides funding to local non-profits through its Community Block Grant program to support innovative and sustainable programs and services that address City Council Goals.
The City currently provides funding to the Garden Project of Southwest Colorado, a local non-profit aiming to grow a healthier community through the support and development of school and community garden programs that promote health and wellness, environmental stewardship and a sustainable local food system.
During 2016, support from the City enabled the Garden Project to expand activities at the Manna Soup Kitchen Garden, helping to create gardening opportunities for local people and provide fresh, healthy ingredients to the Soup Kitchen.
The Garden Project team, along with an arm of 831 hard working volunteers installed new hoop houses and 12 new raised beds over 40 workdays. 2016 also saw the birth of the Manna Market, a free produce stand providing local food-insecure families with access to healthy food. The market is also part of a bigger picture effort by the Garden Project, in collaboration with the Soup Kitchen, to make Manna a family-friendly, welcoming environment for all. As a result of this collaboration, and bolstered by support from the City of Durango, the number of children benefiting from Manna Meals has increased by 54%.
The Garden Project also helps support the City of Durango's garden at City Hall which provides employees with an opportunity to get outside and learn about sustainable gardening practices. After the 2016 harvest, employees donated some of their produce to the Garden Project to be distributed at the Manna Market!
For more information on the Garden Project of Southwest Colorado's current projects and volunteer opportunities please visit The Garden Project