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News Releases from Region 07

EPA Awards Kansas City Community Gardens $30,000 for Growing Sustainable Neighborhoods

Contact Information: 
Angela Brees (

Environmental News


EPA seal(Lenexa, Kan., Oct. 30, 2017) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 has awarded $30,000 to Kansas City Community Gardens to repurpose vacant lands and improve soil quality, provide a sustainable alternative to large-scale food production, and reduce the use of toxic pesticides in local food as part of a pilot program.

The funding to Kansas City Community Gardens comes from EPA’s Environmental Justice Small Grants (EJSG) Program, which provides critical support to organizations that otherwise lack the funding and resources to address the environmental challenges in their community. The program is designed to help communities understand and address their exposure to multiple environmental harms and risks. Understanding the impacts of multiple environmental risks can help communities develop more effective solutions to their environmental and health concerns. The long-term goals of the EJSG Program are to help build the capacity of the affected community and create self-sustaining, community-based partnerships that will continue to improve local environments in the future.

The “Giving Grove” project aims for community partners and neighborhood leaders from low-income communities in the urban core of Kansas City to establish 15-20 community orchards on repurposed vacant land. After these orchards reach maturity, they have the potential to produce an average of 3,758 pounds of fresh, organic produce per site, for a total of 56,000-75,000 pounds of food on an annual basis. The increase in community fruit trees will also contribute to cleaner air and water by increasing community green infrastructure.

Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income in the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.

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