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A greener, healthier Oshkosh is on the way.

An expansion of Oshkosh’s Community Garden is a venture proposed by the Oshkosh Garden Club that aims to create a more connected and sustainable Oshkosh through the availability of fresh, organically grown foods and neighborhood beatification.

The project, called Growing Seeds of Change, is one of five awarded a total of $37,482 in Community Impact Grants from the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation.

LeeAnn Lilly, a member of the Oshkosh Garden Club, explains that the idea for a community garden came from a group of University of Wisconsin Oshkosh students.

“The students partnered with the Oshkosh Garden Club to increase the availability of fresh food, promote community development and beatification of the lower income Middle Village neighborhood,” Lilly said.

The grant funds will help support part-time staff and numerous improvements, including the addition of 34 garden beds, improving the rain barrel system, adding to the compost area, covering the cost of equipment rental and hosting a harvest party.

Lilly says these steps will help serve more residents and increase produce yields.

The Community Garden is located downtown in the 600 block of Jefferson Street. There is no cost for the public to garden in the space and tools are provided. The Community Garden includes family plots for personal use as well as Giving Gardens where volunteers may grow produce to be donated to the Oshkosh Area Food Pantry.

Community Impact grants also benefited domestic abuse victims, children and their adult mentors, low-income people with transportation needs and senior citizen or disabled residents. Local nonprofits requested more than $142,000 in grant funding.

This announcement is part of a release shared by the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to contribute calendar items, campus announcements and other good news to UW Oshkosh Today.