Growing Together is inspired by our partnerships with like-minded organizations in the pursuit of enhancing outdoor play space and creating community connections.
With the help of The Capital Times, The Kids Fund serves to pool individual contributions from hundreds of Dane County residents, and then carefully evaluate grant requests from non-profit organizations, distributing those gifts to serve the needs of kids and their families in Dane County. As a result of our May 2013 $3,000 grant award and the $500 grant by Healthy Sprouts, Growing Together partnered with Best Buds to enhance our garden space in the spring on 2014 to create a cleaner and more beautiful community and make a positive difference in our local environment. A rain garden and the planning it takes to install one is a valuable experience for students and teachers awareness of environmental issues, right in our neighborhood, and are lessons that stay for a lifetime. To complement our school and community garden, we incorporated a rain/butterfly garden, a large painted rain barrel and various plants to enhance our school property and our community. This project is environmentally sensible and full of educational opportunities that will last for generations.
Our goals include: enhanced student learning with service learning projects, build and strengthen relationships between Gompers Elementary and Black Hawk Middle School students, families and neighbors, and help green and beautify the school.
A rain garden is a shallow, functional landscaped area constructed to capture and hold storm water so that it infiltrates into the soil rather than becoming surface runoff. Rain gardens not only beautify an area, they bring larger benefits to the environment, both locally and beyond.
The installation and maintenance is supported by parents and students of both schools, a local Girl Scout Troop and community members.
As part of our Project Orange Thumb initiative, Fiskars partnered with Community Action Coalition for South Central Wisconsin, Inc. (CAC), Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) and The Home Depot Foundation to transform an empty field on the Gompers and Black Hawk school grounds into a beautiful and productive school-community garden full of fruits, vegetables and flowers. The installation of the new school and community garden on May 26, 2011 provides a “growing” number of possibilities for students and nearby community members. The new 14,400 square-foot garden is used for school gardening activities to enhance and sustain ongoing curricular activities at Black Hawk Middle School and Gompers Elementary School. The garden is home to numerous community garden plots as well as a vibrant community gathering space and food-yielding garden. The Growing Together School and Community Garden is a warmly welcomed addition by community members of all ages and will undoubtedly serve the students and Northside community for years to come.
Gerber Leisure has been an instrumental partner from the beginning of our initiative helping us plan, design, supervise and install our equipment. Creating Outdoor Environments for Fun and Leisure.
Gerber Leisure Products represents Landscape Structures, Inc., the only premier commercial playground manufacturer in the industry. They are the leaders in creating innovative, safe, accessible, built-to-last equipment and have been doing it for the last 35 years. Landscape Structures has pioneered “continuous play”, the breakthrough concept that has become the standard for playgrounds everywhere. We are pleased to install Landscape Structures playground equipment to promote healthy lifestyles, encourage skill-building and create unique outdoor experiences.
In November 2014, Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation announced a $68,000 donation to help fund the building of a new playground for Gompers Elementary and Black Hawk Middle Schools which share a campus. The donation to the Foundation’s Gompers Growing Together Fund will allow the schools to complete the third phase of a much-needed playground. The schools and Great Lakes were brought together through the Foundation’s Adopt-A-School program. Last fall, Great Lakes adopted Black Hawk and then expanded the partnership to Gompers earlier this year. The Adopt-a-School program creates meaningful, tailor-made relationships that can start small and strategically grow over time. Through this partnership, and thanks to the generosity of employees, Great Lakes has also donated thousands of healthy snacks, school supplies, and books, and 125 pieces of retired office furniture. Both Gompers and Black Hawk students will benefit from a recent donation of recycled Great Lakes computers with monitors and new hard drives.
The Green Bay Packers Foundation was formally founded on December 30, 1986, and is a non-profit organization created by the Green Bay Packers to assist charitable and worthwhile causes in Wisconsin. After the grant was prescreened and being considered, we were honored to welcome Board Member, Tom Arndt, to our schools as he joined us in a site tour and we were able to discuss our vision for Growing Together. In December 2013, Growing Together was a $3,000 grant recipient from the Foundation which put us closer to reaching our financial goal to build Phase III; the new playground on the back grounds of the schools.
Launched in 2011, Let’s Play is a community partnership led by Dr Pepper Snapple to get kids and families active by providing the tools, places and inspiration to make play a daily priority. In May 2012, Dr Pepper Snapple & KaBOOM! awarded Growing Together a $15,000 grant to be used toward the purchase of playground equipment that would be built using the KaBOOM! community-build model. This was our first grant received for the playground and truly inspired us to bring this dream playground to fruition.
Growing Together is pleased to announce a new on-going partnership with Madison College and the Recreation Management Program at the Truax Campus. Madison College students came to Gompers and Black Hawk in February to learn about the Growing Together Initiative and take a site tour. Part of the class requirement is to complete a group Playground Design Project and Growing Together has been chosen! This project has the potential to add value to their academic experience while giving back to the community.
North City Church has been an ongoing supporter for Growing Together by providing volunteers for events in addition to a financial donation. They are committed to serving our community by connecting with others. In September 2014, numerous volunteers from North City Church in Sun Prairie made it possible for all families to participate together in our Growing Together Fun Run. North City has also provided a generous gift of $500 to the Growing Together Initiative. There financial support helps us continue in our mission and to assist those in our community. Our partnership is treasured.
The NPC mission is to improve the quality of life for all members of the Northside community through advocating and supporting the economic growth, stability and connectivity of the Northside community. NPC draws on our collective assets and skills to help each other pursue dreams, achieve goals, and ensure a high quality of life for all. NPC awarded Growing Together a North Star Award in December 2014 to celebrate those Northsiders who have gone above and beyond to make our community the best place to live, work, and play!
The Subaru Healthy Sprouts Award recognizes and supports youth gardening programs focused on teaching about our environment, nutrition and hunger issues in the United States. Growing Together was selected as one of 50 award winners from a pool of more than 3,000 inspiring applicants for the 2013 Subaru Healthy Sprouts Garden Grants administered by the National Gardening Association and funded by Subaru of America. Our school was one of 47 to receive a $500 Award Package. We are pleased to partner with Healthy Sprouts and continue to enhance the lives of youth and the community in our area.
University of Wisconsin Medical Foundation is the clinical practice organization for the faculty physicians of the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, one of the largest academic, multi-specialty physician groups in Wisconsin. UW Health has a shared Mission, Vision and Values – to advance health without compromise and to advance the well-being of the people of Wisconsin and beyond. UW Medical Foundation is a proud sponsor of Growing Together as part of its commitment to supporting programs that promote healthy lives and communities. With their donation of $7,500 in 2012 we were able to complete the schools second phase; renovate the land in the front of Gompers Elementary.
Vogel Bros. has generously supported both community playground builds and has donated staff and equipment, along with donations of concrete from Lycon and equipment rental from Miller Bradford & Risberg. Vogel Bros. continues to enhance their strong tradition of giving back to our community. We are so grateful for their partnership, generosity and commitment to supporting schools.