PA NRCS is now accepting applications from non-profit community groups within designated urban areas for projects to receive funds under the People’s Garden Initiative.
Pennsylvania’s USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is now accepting applications from non-profit community groups within designated urban areas for projects to receive funds under the People’s Garden Initiative (PGI). The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) allocated funds for the PGI to provide “other assistance to maintain and improve food and agricultural supply chain resiliency” by educating the public about ways that gardening and growing food locally can strengthen food supply chain resiliency.
In the current fiscal year, funding is available in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the surrounding metropolitan area to support food-producing gardens with an educational component. Pennsylvania NRCS can enter into cooperative agreements from $10,000 up to $75,000 each to fund projects that meet the following criteria:
- Collaborative effort – garden partners with USDA agencies, federal, state, and local partners, community organizations, schools, religious groups, and other such entities.
- Benefits the community – garden produces food for those in need, demonstrates principles of conservation, provides wildlife habitat, and provides a greenspace for gathering. A private garden with no public access or public-facing educational displays would not be eligible.
- Environmentally sustainable practices – garden features pollinator habitat, cover crops, soil health, crop rotation, and irrigation management, etc.
- Educational – garden has signage and/or a web/social media presence explaining how food grows and food production, food systems, sustainable practices, environmental stewardship, garden components; tours, workshops, classes or other educational activities that educate about food production, food systems, food preparation, sustainable practices, environmental stewardship, and other topics as appropriate.
Applicants must submit their applications via Grants.gov by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on April 21, 2023 and can learn more about this opportunity at https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=346643.
About the Gardens
USDA originally launched the People’s Garden Initiative in 2009. It’s named for the “People’s Department,” former President Abraham Lincoln’s nickname for USDA, which was established during his presidency in 1862.
People’s Gardens grow fresh, healthy food and support resilient, local food systems; teach people how to garden using conservation practices; nurture habitat for pollinators and wildlife and create greenspace for neighbors.
To learn more about People’s Garden, visit the People’s Garden webpage at