Unity Gardens is currently accepting proposals until March 1, 2023, for native gardening projects in Anne Arundel County. Unity Gardens awards grants to homeowners’ associations, places of worship, and local nonprofits to complete citizen-led conservation landscaping projects in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. These projects include rain gardens, erosion control projects, and pollinator gardens– all using trees, shrubs, perennials and grasses that are native to Maryland.
This grant cycle Unity Gardens is now offering grants up to $2500 for native shrub installations. Unity Gardens will continue to fund grants up to $1000, and these funds may be used to purchase native trees, shrubs, grasses, and perennials.
Eligible applicants must plan and create a budget for a potential project and then apply online. The Unity Gardens website contains information on how to plan a garden and where to buy native plants. In addition, Unity Gardens volunteers will also meet with potential grantees to discuss their ideas and advise on next steps. Those interested should visit unitygardens.org.
The spring deadline to apply is March 1.
Unity Gardens also encourages the use of funds to help create the Maryland Pollinator Pathway. This is an effort to establish habitat and food sources for bees, butterflies, and other pollinating insects along a series of continuous corridors all along the Eastern Seaboard. The effort began in Connecticut in 2017, and this year residents of Anne Arundel County began certifying existing pollinator-friendly habitats and planting new ones.
Unity Gardens is a nonprofit organization based in Anne Arundel County that supports the building of community partnerships through its grassroots grants program. Each year since 2003, Unity Gardens has provided grants to schools, faith-based organizations, homeowners’ associations, scout troops, and other nonprofits that require plant funding in order for their conservation landscaping plans to get off the ground. In the past 19 years, Unity Gardens has given out over $500,000 to over 500 organizations in Anne Arundel County.
In addition to its grant program, Unity Gardens also hosts a speaker event and fundraiser once a year to bring together those passionate about native gardening. This year’s lecture is called Native Grasses and Sedges: Smart Choices For Better Landscapes and will feature Shannon Currey, a horticultural educator and consultant with Izel Native Plants. On March 4, Shannon will share native plant-based solutions to common landscape challenges.