WCSU Permaculture Garden wins Community Champions Grant
By Western Connecticut State University

Nov 14, 2016 - 7:19:19 AM

DANBURY, CT - The Western Connecticut State University Jane Goodall Center for Excellence in Environmental Studies recently was awarded a $500 Community Champions Grant by Constellation, an Exelon company, for use with its Permaculture Garden Initiative project.

Professor of Anthropology Dr. Laurie Weinstein, chair of the Jane Goodall Center, said that when she applied for the competitive award, she explained that the Permaculture Garden at WCSU feeds a number of people.

“In addition to our own students, the garden helps food pantries in the Danbury Food Collaborative and families through DARA (Danbury Area Refugee Assistance),” Weinstein said.

The Community Champions Grant will go toward hiring a garden manager in the spring through summer, as well as toward new equipment, seeds and plants.

“We always have needs,” Weinstein said. “I would love to raise $30,000 for a full-time person to manage the garden and our outreach programs next year and in years to come.”

Upon hearing the news, Susan Moran, of Daily Bread Food Pantry in Danbury, said, “As one of the people who has had the privilege of bringing the produce of the garden to the community, I can't thank [Dr. Weinstein] enough for the time, commitment and love put forth in the success of the garden.

“The clients of Daily Bread Food Pantry are grateful for the food and have also learned about new foods through the program,” Moran added.

For those who want a first-hand experience in the garden, The Jane Goodall Center will host a “Community Day” at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 15. Activities will include weeding and cleaning up the garden, and other maintenance and upkeep tasks. Tools and snacks will be provided. Attendees are encouraged to bring gloves, boots and appropriate clothing.

The Jane Goodall Center for Excellence in Environmental Studies also was named a 2016 Environmental Champion by Aquarion Water this past June, winning $2,500 in prize money that went toward hiring a garden intern over the summer.

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