Health department encourages people to apply for community teaching garden grant

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department is encouraging people to apply for their community teaching garden grant.

At the Chattanooga Public Library’s Northgate branch, their garden is in full bloom.

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“We have people come in every day talking about how beautiful the garden is and how much they love the garden and asking hey can we have something out of the garden, I see this is done can we take something? It is like oh yeah sure it is for you go for it.”

Della Phipps, a librarian with the Northgate branch, thought children could learn from it.

“I wanted the kids to know where their food came from and a lot of times when they see that it is coming from a real plant that they actually planted, they will actually eat it, whereas if it is coming from a store, it is not going to taste as good and they are not going to really care,” Phipps said.

The library built this garden last spring after receiving a grant from the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department’s Step ONE program.

Right now, that program is encouraging different organizations to apply.

New teaching garden grants are awarded for $1,000. Previous participants can still get funding.

“We didn’t want to just purchase $1,000 worth of materials for someone and then never see them again. So we needed these gardens to be sustainable. So if you receive our initial garden grant of $1,000, you are eligible to apply for a $250 grant every year for up to three additional years,” said Renee Craig, the public prevention specialist with the Step ONE program.

Applications will be accepted through the end of August.

“So we are challenging people to lets get back to where it actually comes from. If they grow it, if they plant it, if they take care of it, they are much more excited about trying it,” Craig said.

As for the Northgate branch, they are thankful for this grant.

“It has been amazing it has been so easy,” Phipps said.

For more information about the program or to apply, click here.