Uniting Hands, Growing Community, Planting the Future

Donations & Voluneer: WVSU Extension Agency

Melissa Stewart, our Cabell County Extension Agent for West Virginia State University, has freely given her time and advice as a gardening consultant and teacher. In 2009, she lead the construction and install of compost bins at the Barnett Center Garden, advised the Community Garden on plantings, and hosted a 2-day Junior Master Gardeners “Literature in the Garden” program for elementary age children.

In addition, Melissa worked with the HCG to apply for a large grant to expand and sustain our children's education component. In October of 2009, we applied for a $600,000 CYFAR grant to establish SCRATCH: a 5-year long after-school and summer program to teach children from seed to plate to entrepreneurship, sharing the science, nutrition and small business side of urban farming. Although our initial application was unsuccessful, we were strongly encouraged to reapply in 2010. So, with a second hard push, we worked together that fall to make that second application golden. In March of 2011, we were notified that we had been approved. Melissa devoted countless man hours to both applications. Without her dedication to this project, her knowledge and expertise, and the numerous additional hours needed to adjust and fine-tune everything again over the summer of 2011, our SCRATCH program would never have been possible.