WASHINGTON, April 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- From the United States Botanic Garden, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (NYSE: SMG) today announced a multi-year community outreach initiative, GRO1000, that will result in the creation of at least 1,000 community gardens and green spaces by 2018, the company's 150th anniversary.
"There are benefits that only a garden can provide, and we're honored to help bring some of these benefits to neighborhoods, schools and communities," said Jim Hagedorn, ScottsMiracle-Gro's chairman and chief executive officer. "We're proud to be working with great partners and so many local organizations that want to enhance the environment around them and also help provide for the less fortunate in their communities."
Key to the GRO1000 initiative are partnerships with Keep America Beautiful, the Garden Writers Association, Plant A Row for the Hungry, the National Gardening Association and the Franklin Park Conservatory, who are helping to bring community gardens and green spaces to cities across the United States, Canada and Europe.
"Not only does gardening help promote discovery and imagination, it also encourages a healthier lifestyle by getting kids outside, active, and excited about planting and eating vegetables and fruit," said Eileen Daly from Morning Star School in Tampa. "As the site of the first GRO1000 garden of 2011, we are thrilled to bring important life skills to our children through hands-on learning in the garden." More than 200 children, community members and city officials joined ScottsMiracle-Gro and its partners to install the Morning Star Unity Garden on March 1, to benefit students with learning disabilities and related learning challenges.
In addition to GRO1000 public garden and green space installations, Hagedorn also announced the 100 recipients of 2011 GRO1000 grassroots grants. Earlier this year, a host of local community organizations applied for grants to foster community spirit and public service and to help bring edible gardens, flower gardens and public green spaces to even more communities in the United States. A list of the recipients can be found at www.scottsmiraclegro.com.
An additional focus of the GRO1000 initiative is an emphasis on the importance of harvest donations and the continuous need for fresh food. To help meet this need, a food pantry recipient to receive excess produce from GRO1000 edible gardens is designated.
"If every gardener plants one extra row of vegetables and donates their surplus to local food agencies and soup kitchens, a significant impact can be made in reducing hunger. Our long-time partnership with ScottsMiracle-Gro is about spreading this message. More importantly, it also sets in place a system for bringing surplus harvest to those who need it most," said Carol Ledbetter, program administrator for Plant A Row for the Hungry.
To date in 2011, GRO1000 community gardens have been installed in Tampa, Los Angeles, and Houston. The next installation will take place on May 19 at Gage Park in Chicago, and installations on Long Island, N.Y., Ontario, Canada and Lyon, France will take place later in the year.
"To see neighborhoods and communities come together and celebrate gardening is very powerful," said Su Lok, ScottsMiracle-Gro's director of corporate and community partnerships. "GRO1000 is our commitment to communities and giving back to those in need."
SOURCE The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company