Teton Valley Community Garden – $2,800
The Community Foundation of Teton Valley was honored to award this grant to the Teton County Idaho Fair Board in partnership with Teton County 4-H and the Teton Valley Food Pantry in support of the development of a Community Garden. The Foundation strongly supports all the benefits of gardening, caring for the environment, and supporting local residents in need.
There is not a viable community garden in Teton Valley. Such a space will allow Seniors and residents who live in rental properties or multi-residential housing who often do not have access to garden space or the tools and support to successfully garden. The creation of the garden will provide a secure and supported learning environment for people to grow their own healthy food that they like and can take pride in producing. In addition, some of the garden produce will assist in supporting the local food pantry. Moreover, the community garden will provide a place for people to connect and engage over the shared goals of sustainable high-altitude, short-season gardening.
To address this need, the Teton County Fairgrounds has made approximately 4,500 square feet of currently fallow garden space available with more room for expansion and storage of supplies. The University of Idaho Extension will offer educational opportunities and assistance in the planning, implementation, construction, and maintenance of the gardens.
The Teton Valley Food Pantry currently assists 95 households weekly, which includes 342 individuals. This number represents a significant increase since March 2020 and is likely to increase (e.g., food assistance and services have quadrupled due to the pandemic). A community garden will provide additional fresh produce at the food pantry.
Grant funds received for the front-end costs of this project will be used to purchase supplies for the construction of garden beds, topsoil, compost, weed control barriers, irrigation supplies, tools, seeds, plant starts, apple trees, berries, pollinator beds, and cover crops for future garden beds as well as a tool shed and greenhouse. In 2021, the priority will be to rehabilitate the soil, control weeds, and establish the grow-a-row beds to directly benefit the Food Pantry. It is estimated that the garden will benefit over 100 community members initially with the potential for many positive ripple effects over many years.
The Community Foundation commends the important work of the Teton County Idaho Fair Board, University of Idaho Extension, and Teton Valley Food Pantry in developing the Teton Valley Community Garden. It will provide quality growing space, infrastructure, tools, a place for social connections, encouragement, learning with others and support local residents in need of fresh produce.