Daily Star file photo Niles Community Gardens is one of 15 selected to compete for a $4,000 grant from Organic Gardening Magazine.

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Community gardens vies for grant

Published 9:46pm Thursday, February 23, 2012

Mark VanTil is hoping to grow some online support for the Niles Community Gardens project.

VanTil, organizer of Niles Community Gardens, said the group has been selected as one of 15 gardens to compete for the 2012 DeLoach Community Garden Award. The award is given by Organic Gardening Magazine, and the top five vote-getters will receive a $4,000 grant.

“For us, that $4,000 is quite a bit,” he said.

VanTil said he submitted an application to be considered for the award and was recently notified Niles Community Gardens is one of 15 projects across the country in the competition.

Each garden will produce a video that will be posted on the DeLoach website and viewers will be able to vote on their favorite one. Voting will take place March 6 through Aug. 6. People can vote up to once a day.

“We’re really hoping to get a group of 50 to 60 people who will vote every day. If we get that base of people, we could win,” VanTil said.

VanTil said he hopes to use the community gardens’ Facebook page to get people to the online polls.

The video produced by Niles Community Gardens features VanTil falling asleep in the garden and shows him dreaming about the development of the gardens over the past two years.

“And then I dream about what we can do in the future. This award will help our dreams come true,” VanTil said.

VanTil said if the group wins the grant, it will go toward its goal of having a garden at every school in Niles.

The contest is sponsored by DeLoach Vineyards in Santa Rosa, Calif.

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