Local Partners to Host Community Gardening Celebration on Earth Day

Earth Day celebration marks community gardening milestones in Columbus, Ohio

Apr 22, 2013, 07:00 ET from The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company

COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- City of Columbus and Franklin County officials will join ScottsMiracle-Gro, community partners, volunteers and local residents at Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens on Earth Day (April 22) to celebrate and honor Columbus community gardens.

With over 250 community gardens within city limits, Columbus has more community gardens per capita than any other metropolitan area. Each site is unique, but all focus on community engagement, beautification, food security, and multiculturalism. The goal of the event is to celebrate this accomplishment and engage residents by educating them on the many benefits of community gardening.

"Community gardens do an exceptional job filling a void in neighborhoods," said Mayor Michael B. Coleman. "Where abandoned houses once stood, gardens are taking root adding beauty and recreational space for neighbors to gather together."

This event marks the third year for the City of Columbus/Franklin County Community Garden Grant Program and the 10th year of The ScottsMiracle-Gro Community Garden Academy Fund at The Columbus Foundation.

The City of Columbus/Franklin County Community Garden Grants program is a collaborative approach to recognizing the many benefits of community gardens, supporting existing gardens in the City and throughout the County and encouraging the creation of new ones. Applications for funding for the 2013 growing season were accepted February 15 through March 1, 2013 and during today's event, officials will announce funding for 42 qualifying gardens.

In addition, more than 100 gardens and green spaces have been impacted by The ScottsMiracle-Gro Community Garden Academy Fund at The Columbus Foundation. Through this fund, local organizations receive monetary support, in-kind product donation and educational opportunities through Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. The grants support both existing and new gardens, ranging from traditional community gardens to nontraditional gardens, including farmers' markets, children's gardens, therapy gardens, and beautification efforts.

"It's been an honor to be a part of the gardening community in central Ohio," said Su Lok, director of Corporate and Community Partnerships, ScottsMiracle-Gro. "Through strong local partnerships, we have been able to help residents enjoy the many benefits that come from the garden."

Community gardens in Columbus have grown from a dozen in 2000 to more than 250 in just 13 years. Over 40,000 pounds of fresh produce is donated each year from Columbus community gardens.

"Healthy families come from healthy communities," said Commissioner John O'Grady. "Franklin County is committed to addressing the rising rates of childhood obesity in our community and the related health ailments overweight children suffer. Supporting community gardens is an excellent way in which to accomplish our goals of getting kids active and providing them with healthier foods."

All community gardeners and general public are invited to attend. Activities will include tours of the community garden campus, gardening demonstrations and giveaways, information booths and resources, hands-on activities for children, interactive activities, local food trucks serving lunch and product pick-ups for grant recipients.

When: Earth Day, Monday, April 22, 2013, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Where: The ScottsMiracle-Gro Community Garden Campus at Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, 1777 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio, 43202


  • 10 a.m. – community partners available for media interviews
  • 10:30 a.m. – program begins with remarks:
    • Bruce Harkey, Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
    • Commissioner John O'Grady, Franklin County
    • Councilmember Priscilla Tyson, Columbus City Council
    • Senator Charleta B. Tavares, Presenting Senate Proclamation
    • State Representative Michael Stinziano, Presenting Commemorative Resolution
    • Su Lok, ScottsMiracle-Gro
    • Bill Dawson, Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
    • Dan Weisenbach, Green Columbus
  • 11 a.m. – activities and tours begin, food trucks available for lunch
  • 11:15 a.m. – product distribution begins for grant recipients
  • Noon – live broadcast opportunities available to media

Partners for the Earth Day celebration include the City of Columbus, Franklin County, ScottsMiracle-Gro, Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, The Columbus Foundation, The Columbus Department of Public health, Institute for Active Living, Clean Turn, and Green Columbus.

About ScottsMiracle-Gro
With approximately $3 billion in worldwide sales, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, The Scotts Company LLC, is the world's largest marketer of branded consumer products for lawn and garden care, with products for professional horticulture as well. The Company's brands are the most recognized in the industry. In the U.S., the Company's Scotts®, Miracle-Gro® and Ortho® brands are market-leading in their categories, as is the consumer Roundup® brand, which is marketed in North America and most of Europe exclusively by Scotts and owned by Monsanto. In the U.S., we operate Scotts LawnService®, the second largest residential lawn care service business. Visit us at www.scotts.com.

SOURCE The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company