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South Norwalk community garden gets $46K grant

Ina Clark Community Garden off Hemlock Place in South Norwalk.  (Photo from Ina Clark Community Garden Google+ page)
Ina Clark Community Garden off Hemlock Place in South Norwalk.
(Photo from Ina Clark Community Garden Google+ page)

NORWALK, Conn. – The Ina Clark Community Garden in South Norwalk got a cash infusion Tuesday in the form of a $46,000 state grant.

The money was part of a package of $7.8 million in state grants that will assist 25 communities in purchasing 2,237 acres to be preserved as open space including $96,250 to establish community gardens in New Haven and Norwalk.

The grant will provide lighting, fencing, paved pathways, signs and a public pavilion for the garden, located off Hemlock Place, according to a press release from state Sen. Bob Duff’s office.

The garden features 88 garden plots on a 2-acre parcel.

“This community garden has been a hit from the beginning. It’s the size of a football field and there’s a waiting list for space,” Duff said in the release. “Obviously its popularity has created the need for lights, trails, signage and some shelter. The garden has become a real source of community pride and I thank the governor for his attention to South Norwalk’s needs.”

The grants come through the Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition program, which is administered by the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), according to a press release from Gov. Dannel Malloy’s office. This program provides financial support to local governments and land trusts in purchasing open space, using state bonds and funding from the 2005 Community Investment Act.

The open space grant program requires the local party to grant the state a conservation and public recreation easement, which ensures that the property is permanently protected for public use and benefit. DEEP prioritizes funding for projects that meet the multiple goals of open space, such as protecting vital habitats, creating and enhancing recreational resources, and protecting our valuable water resources.

The grants for community gardens in New Haven and Norwalk are the result of a more recent component of the open space grant program the Malloy release stated. These grants are designed to create green spaces in city neighborhoods, open up urban lands for outdoor recreation, and help improve community health by encouraging the growing of local fruits and vegetables.

“The community gardens initiative was added to the open space program in 2007 to address multiple open space needs in urban areas,” said DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee.  “This portion of the grant program acknowledges that preserving places people care about is as important in our cities and inner suburbs as it is in more rural areas.”

Comments

12 responses to “South Norwalk community garden gets $46K grant”

  1. michael foley

    I Think these Community Garden are Great !!

  2. Amanda

    Wonderful! I’ve had a plot at Fodor Farm for years and these community gardens are one of Norwalks greatest assets.

  3. I am also thankful for a plot at Fodor Farm. Hadn’t had a garden in four years.

  4. Kathleen Montgomery

    Wonderful news!

  5. Suzanne

    There is so much to be thankful for with this acquisition. It has been shown time and again that, with garden spaces, residents (especially children) eat better and are healthier. Yay for this grant! Yay for South Norwalk! I say, bring some more spaces like this for gardening on in Norwalk!

  6. Mike Mushak

    Bravo! Thank you, Governor Malloy.

  7. Amanda

    @Nancy are you on the upper or lower parcel at FF? Fodor Farm is such a fantastic piece of Norwalk.

  8. @Amanda
    The upper parcel, in the back, near the shed. People tend to walk out and lock me in! I guess they don’t see me behind the vegetation.

  9. Oh, and by the way, we have a plentiful supply of rabbits there.

  10. Amanda

    @Nancy, tell me about it!!!! They’ve killed my beans 2 years in a row!

  11. C.G.

    Can I ask? How do you go about requesting a plot?

  12. Amanda

    CG, get yourself on the list with city hall. They’re not great about monitoring who gets in each year so you’ll need to keep an eye on it.

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