One. Hundred. Dollars.

dr-evilI thought for a moment this morning that Dr. Evil had edited the piece that ran in the Trib today about the recent gift we received from the Trumbull 100 of “$100.” Fortunately it must have been a simple typo, because even using the ever-economic blend of wildflowers and native grasses, a Benjamin just ain’t what it used to be.

For the record: the gift from Trumbull 100 was for $10,000!

We got a very nice and completely accurate write-up (including nice graphics) on rustwire.com, a pretty interesting web site about and for the cities of the Rustbelt. You can “friend” them on Facebook here.

We did a presentation for the Rotary Club of Warren at their weekly luncheon meeting at Enzo’s today. The great people of Rotary were one of our first supporters when gregg’s gardens was getting started last year and they were kind enough to invite us back. Unfortunately technical problems hampered the effort.

BIG NEWS!

t100_logoWe are thrilled to announce the largest gift ever to gregg’s gardens: The Trumbull 100 is donating $10,000 to the cause of creating a Garden District in the city center. The Trumbull 100 is one of the areas most active and progressive organizations. They supported gg last year with a smaller gift, and have followed our progress. T-100 President Diane Sauer, who was instrumental in helping us, had this to say:

Our goal is to facilitate opportunities and provide leadership for projects that enhance the quality of life in Trumbull County, and this project will certainly do that. It will turn a currently run-down neighborhood into a desirable place to live, and a strengthened center city will boost downtown Warren, as well.”

The Trumbull 100 gift bring us to just shy of $20,000 in total donations this year, or about 40% of our goal. We still have a long way to go, but we have lots of other irons in the fire. Stay tuned.

The “gg mix”

Butterfly_Weed_Asclepias_tuberosa_UmbelWe have received several requests lately asking for the specific seed mixture we use to create a gregg’s garden, including one request from the Ohio Attorney General’s office. We’ve presented it here before but it was a while back. The seed mixture consists of:

Asclepias tuberosa – Butterfly Weed (right)

Schizachyrium scoparium – Little Bluestem

Elymus Canadensis – Nodding Wild Rye (bottom)

Chamaecrista fasciculate – Partridge Pea

Bouteloua curtipendula – Side-oats Grama

Heliopsis helianthoides – Ox Eye Sunflower

Gaillardia pulchella – Indian Blanket

wild_bergamot_3Ratibida pinnata – Yellow Coneflower/Grey-Headed Co

Echinacea purpurea – Purple Coneflower

Coreopsis lanceolata – Lanceleaf Coreopsis

Eryngium yuccifolium – Rattlesnake Master

Monarda citriodora – Lemon Mint

Monarda fistulosa – Wild Bergamot (above)

Rudbeckia hirta – Black-eyed Susan

Penstemon digitalis – Foxglove Beardtongue

Aster novae-angliae – New England Aster

Solidago rigida – Stiff Goldenrod

Lespedeza capitata – Roundheaded Bushclover

nodding wild ryePycnanthemum virginianum – Virginia Mountain Mint

Lobelia siphilitica – Great Lobelia

Cost/benefit

Regular followers of gregg’s gardens and our current efforts to create a Garden District will recall that we are trying to raise $50,000 in order to create 100+ wildflower gardens on vacant lots in Warren’s center city. We believe this is a modest sum for a project that has the potential to transform the city.

To put that in perspective, I read in the Tribune this morning that a generous firm has recently donated $50,000 to a non-profit group to extend a bike trail in southern Mahoning County. The money will be used to create an additional 1000 feet of blacktop for the trail.

I’m not saying that is a poor use of money, but I’ll put our project up against it, or anything else in a cost-benefit analysis.

Click to see our Garden District presentation.

Click to donate to the project.

 

 

Where the lots are

I drove the streets of the proposed Garden District yesterday and made the map below. Green dots are the gregg’s gardens planted last fall (only those within the GD) and the red “Xs” are current vacant lots. There are 65 of them. Not ll of the lots can be turned into gardens due to ownership issues, but keep in mind that there are also likely to be 50+ houses torn down in the next year within this area.

November-2012 gg and vacant lots

Funding update

At this stage of the game it is all about raising the money and our activity level is high. I don’t feel it is right to name individuals or private business we are pursuing, but I promise you there are a lot of them.

We are also very actively meeting with community organizations. We presented to the Trumbull 100 two weeks ago and we just booked a date to present to Rotary Club on March 20 and hope to have dates with the Kiwanis Club and the Warren Board of Realtors soon as well.

We are working on several grant opportunities, have a first meeting with one next week, and recently added a volunteer to research certain grant opportunities.

We are working on a very cool fund-raising event idea that is too soon to talk about, but if we can make it happen may be very profitable.

Finally, but certainly not least importantly, private individuals continue to be an important and generous source of gifts. We have had several in the $250-500 range the past couple of weeks. Smaller donations have been a little slower in coming but we haven’t really ramped up our effort there as yet.

If you don’t hear from me too often the next few weeks it’s because I’m out begging and twisting arms.

Have a nice weekend.