News Release: City of Tallahassee
TALLAHASSEE, FL – On Friday, Mayor John Marks accepted a $40,000 grant award from the U.S. Conference of Mayors during the organization’s 82nd Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. The 2014 GRO1000 Gardens and Green Spaces Program, which promotes and recognizes mayoral leadership in the development of greenscapes across the nation, was awarded to the city of Tallahassee and the Tallahassee Food Network for the proposed expansion of the iGrow – “Whatever You Like” Youth Farm located on Dunn Street in the Frenchtown district.
In total, five cities were awarded the maximum level of funding:
“We highly commend the mayors in all five of these winning cities for their actions to improve the quality of life for all their citizens,” said Tom Cochran, CEO & Executive Director of The U.S. Conference of Mayors. “Thanks to the outstanding work by these mayors, their citizens have access to healthy, natural food while uniting people of all ages and creating a sense of community.”
The award will be dispersed over a three-year period and consists of monetary funds and product from The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company totaling $40,000. All funds and in-kind product will go directly to the Tallahassee Food Network, which applied for the grant in partnership with the Mayor’s Office.
“Located in the heart of Tallahassee’s historic Frenchtown district, the iGrow – ‘Whatever You Like’ Youth Farm represents the culmination of our community’s efforts to enhance access to healthy foods, education and overall wellness for our city’s youths,” Mayor Marks said. “This project will serve as a model of what can be done when government and businesses work together with citizens to create something truly extraordinary.”
The iGrow – “Whatever You Like” Youth Farm began operating in 2011 and to date has produced well over 2,000 lbs. of food for local residents. With the additional resources, the Tallahassee Food Network plans to expand food production and provide additional educational opportunities focused on healthy living and the importance of community-based food systems.
"The Tallahassee Food Network and the iGrow – ‘Whatever You Like’ Youth Group would like to thank its many partners and supporters in helping to make the Dunn Street Youth Farm a thriving enterprise where young people and city residents can learn and participate in the development of an amazing urban agricultural program,” said Sundiata Ameh-El, Co-Coordinator of the Tallahassee Food Network. “The GRO1000 grant will be instrumental in assisting the program to continue to operate at the forefront of youth development, agricultural innovation and community engagement.”
The United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) is the official non-partisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are 1,399 such cities in the country today. Each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor. www.uscm.org
The Tallahassee Food Network is a group of community activists dedicated to developing resilient, community-based food systems that will provide healthy, affordable food for all. http://tallahasseefoodnetwork.blogspot.com
iGrow is one of the Tallahassee Food Network's youth-focused initiatives. It emerged from and continues to be sustained by partnerships amongst the Frenchtown Revitalization Council and Frenchtown CDC; Tallahassee Food Gardens and the Tallahassee Sustainability Group; C.A.N.D.I. and Project F.O.O.D; the Damayan Garden Project; and the COPE Coalition. http://igrow-whateveryoulike.weebly.com/