Sunday, January 10, 2010
Helping an old wall
One of my projects this winter is securing funding for our community garden's much needed improvements. Continuously tilled since 1923, this particular community garden is one of the oldest in the United States. Today, the retaining wall that encloses the site is in need of repair. This structure was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC.) The CCC, created by President Roosevelt during the Great Depression, was a public relief program for unemployed men. A local historian told me that walls built with round field stones and concrete caps are typical of this era. I confirmed this information by researching our park department's annual reports in the local library. As is delineated on the wall's weather-worn inscription, the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act (ERA), which extended the CCC program, funded the project in 1935. Finding this information was lucky because the CCC's walls are usually not registered as historic landmarks. Many of these structures are falling apart without anyone knowing about them. Bolstered by this knowledge, I submitted an application for funding to restore the wall. If successful, I'll follow up with other grant programs for a new gateway and educational signage. Fingers crossed!
A great website for finding funding sources, for nonprofit efforts, is the foundationcenter.org.