The Bob Jones Nature Center today announced that it has received a $2,470 grant from the national nonprofit Alliance for Community Trees to plant trees at three Carroll ISD elementary school gardens in Southlake. The schools are Jack D. Johnson Elementary, Old Union Elementary, and Rockenbaugh Elementary. These sites will be considered local People’s Gardens, part of the nationwide network of gardens supported by the USDA People’s Garden Initiative.
The Alliance for Community Trees (ACTrees) People’s Garden Grant Program is a new national initiative launched in 2012 to explore and deepen the connection between trees and urban agriculture. With support from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, ACTrees has provided funding to 30 communities in 21 states to plant trees that produce fruit and nuts or provide shelter to community gardens.
“Trees are critical to healthy people and healthy communities,” said ACTrees Executive Director Carrie Gallagher. “We are excited to offer this opportunity to the Bob Jones Nature Center and the three schools to demonstrate locally that trees are an integral part of sustainable community agriculture.”
Each selected school includes kindergarteners through fourth graders who participate in hands-on garden activities. Through these hands-on experiences students recognize the basic needs of plants and environmental factors affecting plant growth. Each school will be receiving trees to provide a shade component to their gardens. Planting is planned for October 2012. The Bob Jones Nature Center is also working with the Citizen Forester program of the Cross Timbers Urban Forestry Council. The program presents an opportunity for individuals to become skilled at planting, pruning, and maintaining trees in an urban environment. It also provides interested persons with the chance to get involved with local city and county agencies and help their community take care of its public trees.