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Toro picks 4 finalists for grant program

November 5, 2014 -  By

The Toro Co. selected four finalist organizations for its “Green Spaces Make Great Places” program that will compete for $15,000 in grant awards. Each of the organizations submitted a video explaining its proposed initiative and how the grant would help further its efforts to improve green spaces. The public has until Nov. 21 to vote on Facebook.

The four finalists include:

  • The Wonder Workshop Children’s Museum: The Wonder Workshop in Manhattan, Kan., is working to create a new outdoor garden space that is healthy and green. The program’s goal is to teach kids how to grow healthy foods, and give them a safe and fun place to play outdoors.
  • Unity Charter School: The school, located in Morristown, N.J., recently relocated to a larger building that sits in a semi-industrial area with a lack of green space. With funds raised by the parents in the community, they created a playground and small turf field. The school plans to transform an additional area to serve as an outdoor classroom for students.
  • Growing Solutions: The Julie+Michael Tracy Foundation and Growing Solutions Farm, located in Chicago, converted a barren 1.5-acre city plot into a vocational therapeutic garden to help young adults with autism learn life and career skills.
  • Irmo Arbor Day Commission (IADC): The IADC is raising funds to complete beautification projects at local schools and in other areas around Irmo, S.C. In addition to creating green areas for kids, funds raised by the organization have helped beautify a new veteran’s park and facilitated the planting of crepe myrtles along the railroad tracks that run through the town.

The organization earning the most votes will receive a $7,000 first-place grant; the second-place organization will be awarded a $4,000 grant; and the remaining two organizations will each be given $2,000 grants. Winners will be named Nov. 26.

“We had many amazing organizations to choose from, and that made it a challenge to select the top four,” said Judson McNeil, manager of Toro Giving. “Each organization told a compelling story of need and how this financial grant would help further their efforts. Now we need the public’s help in selecting the organizations most deserving of this opportunity.”

This year marks the second annual “Green Spaces Make Great Places” grant program. The previous winner, Lincolnshire-Prairie View School District 103, used its $7,000 grant to renovate the landscape and hardscape surrounding the playground at Laura B. Sprague Elementary School in Lincolnshire, Ill. Other runners-up have launched projects to beautify outdoor environments, such as neighborhood parks.

LM Staff

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