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Past Grant Recipients

Primavera Foundation

The Primavera Foundation has created seven community gardens at organization owned emergency shelter sites, permanent affordable housing rental sites, and in partnering neighborhoods throughout Tucson. Endowment funds will be used to strengthen the social capital of after-school, residential and emergency shelter garden programs by engaging residents with in these garden projects. Specifically, Primavera is working on planting winter gardens and the Garden Coordinator (an AmeriCorps Member) is holding “cafecitos” (aka coffee klatches) at each of the resident gardens to get to know residents and talk about gardening.

Cochise County Master Gardeners

For the past two years the Cochise County Master Gardeners has been developing the Discovery Gardens, the first and only educational demonstration garden in Cochise County. Their goal is to install an 8’ x 20’ greenhouse to be used as part of our educational outreach at the Discovery Gardens at UA Sierra Vista. Greenhouse production will enable growth of starter plants for vegetables, berries, and herbs from seed and cuttings and allows for year-round food crop production. This project will be available to any members or organizations in Cochise County with the interest in food production or a need for healthy food knowledge. 

Wellness Connections

Wellness Connections’ Growing Well Garden Project is an integral part of their culinary training and meal program, and peer-run microbusiness efforts. The goals of this project are to upgrade and replace gardening and greenhouse equipment and supplies for the local Farmer’s Market(s). Second, train for members and staff who will take leadership in the planning and maintenance of their garden project. And lastly, produce a cookbook created by program members that will include heart healthy recipes, promoting healing and recovery. Primary beneficiaries of the project will be adults 18 and over who are living with mental health and/or substance use recovery issues.

La Frontera

The Community Wellness Project’s goal is to increase the ability of community members living with mental health issues to access and make healthy choices related to diet. La Frontera has three Community Wellness Project garden sites throughout Tucson and the Thornydale Ranch is requesting funds to implement an expansion to their garden with the goal to increase production. The Produce from the Wellness Project will be used in cooking classes and distributed to program participants, employees, and Sonora House. 

CAA Faith Ministry, Inc.

CAA Faith Ministry, Inc. has been producing and donating fresh garden vegetables to the Rural Accent Food Pantry in Bowie and the Willcox Food Pantry for several years. Their goal is to extend this service by beginning fruit production. They would like to build a screened fence enclosure to begin growing berries and grapes. These fruits are currently scarcely available to the low income residents in the area and providing berries and grapes in addition the fresh garden vegetables would provide beneficial nutrition to recipients.

Flowers & Bullets 

Flowers and Bullets is a grassroots collective that began in 2012 and includes 23 families in the Barrio Centro/Julia Keen neighborhoods (south of 22nd, west of Alvernon, north of Aviation Hwy, east of Tucson Blvd.). On January 1, 2017, the collective began leasing the vacated Julia Keen Elementary School to creative a community-driven urban agriculture site. They plan to develop a portion of the 9-acre property into a demonstration garden that will provide access to fresh produce as well as nutritional and gardening education for the community.

Iskashitaa Refugee Network

Iskashitaa Refugee Network harvests unused fruit in Tucson’s backyards while educating Southern Arizonans about local food production, native foods, food waste, food sovereignty, and hunger alleviation and uses food as an entry point for immigrants and refugees. Their citrus harvesting program has been coordinated and overseen by temporary volunteers, but with increasing demand, has become increasingly more challenging. They plan to hire a harvesting coordinator for the peak citrus season and are in the process of securing additional funding sources to keep this position permanently.

San Xavier Cooperative Association 

The San Xavier Cooperative Association’s Wild Foods Community Harvest Program works with Tohono O’odam community members in the San Xavier District to learn how to harvest, process, and prepare traditional wild Sonoran Desert foods in a cultural and environmentally healthy way. Currently, this program provides training on cholla buds in the spring and mesquite pods in the summer. They plan to extend this education into the fall with a prickly pear program which will include harvesting, training on how to incorporate prickly pear into the diet, and provide an opportunity for individuals to sell processed juice and other prickly pear items for extra income.

Southwest Community Center 

The Southwest Community Center primarily serves the Drexel Heights neighborhood through the distribution of food boxes to nearly 10,000 families per year. They seek to provide an opportunity for community members to have access to gardening education to reduce food insecurity by encouraging urban gardening. They plan to implement a community garden that will be used as an educational tool to teach neighbors how to start and maintain a backyard garden.