Taking Root Grant Winners: Where Are They Now?

This past spring, five Keep America Beautiful affiliates' community gardening and beautification projects were selected by Troy-Bilt®, and rewarded grant money and equipment through our Taking Root' grant program.

Troy-Bilt Taking Root grant recipients included: Keep North Platte and Lincoln County Beautiful (first place), Newport News Public Works Recycling (second place), and Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful (third place). All grant winners, as well as the fourth and fifth place winners (Keep Greenwood County Beautiful and Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful), received Troy-Bilt equipment.

We recently checked in with our Taking Root grant program winners and they shared updates and details with us on how their projects are improving and empowering their communities.

Keep North Platte and Lincoln County Beautiful

Project overview: The North Platte community garden is a healthy, educational resource for the North Platte community. It also serves as a space where students can learn about growing and selling healthy produce.

Where are they now? North Platte is using its grant money to create handicapped-accessible beds, install pavers around the beds and mulch pathways throughout the garden for a more user-friendly environment everyone can enjoy. With the help of local students, the community is enjoying a bountiful garden full of lettuce, zucchini, beans, carrots, beets, peppers, cauliflower and tomatoes.

Newport News Public Works Recycling

Project overview: The School Green Space Project, in its pilot year, is aimed at turning an underutilized courtyard area into a more usable, student-friendly outdoor classroom. This project also aims to get students more involved in protecting and maintaining the natural environment and becoming better environmental stewards.

Where are they now? Volunteers, local businesses and government entities have helped improve the courtyard at Crittenden Middle School by cleaning up litter, mulching along the school entranceway, and creating a compost to prepare the raised beds for fall planting. Newport News is also using salvaged wood from the previous outdoor classroom to repair picnic tables and recycle for other related projects.

Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful

Project overview: Concordia Gardens is a 1.5-acre community garden providing the Harambee neighborhood of Milwaukee, which is a food desert, with access to healthy produce.

Where are they now? Milwaukee has officially launched Farm Stand, an on-site, mobile structure fueled by local youth, giving them the power to not only grow food, but market and selling it. Concordia Gardens plans to maintain the land, grow more food, engage with more neighbors and plant a healthier future for the Greater Milwaukee community.


The Dirt from Troy-Bilt

September/October 2014