As partners with the National League of Cities Service Line Warranty Program, cities can elect to receive a royalty which can generate revenue for their city. How to use the money is at the discretion of the city. Some partners choose to fund specific programs – such as the KC Grow program in Kansas City, Missouri.
“The KC Grow program promotes growing nutritious food for the community in conjunction with Kansas City Community Gardens,” said City Councilman John A. Sharp. “Productive gardens are replacing vacant lots that once only grew weeds. Access to water for these gardens is often costly, which is where the program steps in. Funds received from the Service Line Warranty Program, administered by Utility Service Partners, are used to help offset some of the expenses of providing adequate water.”
The KC Grow program helps make water accessible for community gardens and city farms. The program provides grants funded through the City of Kansas City and administered by Kansas City Community Gardens with technical assistance to farmers provided by Cultivate Kansas City. Royalties from the Service Line Warranty Program are used to fund grant requests to connect water service to the garden plots and install systems to catch rain water, pumping systems, drip irrigation systems and various other irrigation tools.
“By helping offset one of the biggest expenses, Kansas City Community Gardens can use existing funding to support educational programs, keep rental plots affordable for all families and further our mission,” said Ben Sharda, Kansas City Community Gardens Executive Director.
“These gardens bring joy and good health to the Kansas City community through nutritious food, exercise and knowledge. We are excited to be able to do more of this work thanks to this program.”
The mission of Kansas City Community Gardens is to assist low-income households and community groups in the Kansas City metropolitan area in growing vegetables and fruit from garden plots located in backyards, vacant lots and community sites. Residents that are unable to grow a garden at their own home due to shady backyards, rental restrictions, or lack of space can rent a plot in community gardens.
For more than 30 years, the Kansas City Community Gardens agency has helped the community improve nutrition, reduce food costs, combat obesity, increase physical activity, encourage community leadership and promote locally grown and sustainable food. For more information on the KC Grow program or Kansas City Community Gardens, visit http://kccg.org/.