Mechanicsburg FFA receives ARCOP Grant to create community garden

Staff report

MECHANICSBURG – The Mechanicsburg FFA received a grant for $4,000 to turn the school courtyard into a community garden, according to Kevin Neer, M’burg ag education teacher and M’burg FFA advisor.

“The courtyard is currently a seldom used ‘green space’ in the middle of the school,” he said. “When I became the ag teacher one of my goals was to turn this area into something with a much more productive use. I would really like to thank Lyndsey Murphy for her help in writing this grant.”

Neer said FFA members and volunteers will create raised garden beds and the FFA will tend the gardens. The group is looking at options for harvested produce.

The ARCOP Grant program is a collaborative project of the Ohio Department of Agriculture and the Ohio FFA Foundation Inc. to help FFA chapters finance community development projects. The grants awarded range from $750 to $5,000 per chapter.

This year 12 grants were awarded. Using the criteria set forth by the Ohio Rural Rehabilitation program, schools submit written proposals to the Ohio FFA Foundation Inc. and a committee reviews the proposals and awards grants. The projects will take place between June and November 2017.

General program guidelines include:

The project benefits rural residents or low-income farmers.

The project will have a long-term impact on the community either economically or through an improved quality of life.

The project is in collaboration with a substantial agency, a governmental entity, or long-standing organization

The project goes beyond legally required activities or functions that are a routine expectation of an organization, agency, or governmental body.

Staff report