LITTLE ROCK – The grant application window is now open for communities hoping to beautify a local public space through the 2018 Greening of Arkansas grant program. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, Oct. 3.


The grant program, now in its 11th year, is funded through proceeds from the Arkansas Flower and Garden Show. The show will celebrate its 27th year March 2-4, 2018, at the Arkansas State Fairgrounds.


Krista Quinn, executive director for the Arkansas Flower and Garden Show, said the Greening of Arkansas grant committee will award as much as $15,000 to the winning applicants.


“Horticulture plays an important part in all of our lives,” Quinn said. “From the food we eat to the green spaces we enjoy, we all benefit from horticulture on a daily basis. Communities also benefit from horticulture.”


Research shows that landscaping increases property values, promotes economic development, and deters littering and vandalism, she said.


“The Greening of Arkansas program encourages communities to beautify their surroundings and enhance their quality of life by adding landscaping to public areas,” Quinn said.


Recipients will be announced in December. The general requirements for applying for a Greening of Arkansas grant include:


• Applicant must be a nonprofit, community-based or civic organization located in the state of Arkansas;


• Grant award funds may only be used for the project defined in the project description at least 50 percent of which must be spent on plant material;


• The project must be on public property;


• Recipients of a Greening of Arkansas grant must wait at least two years before applying for the grant again.


The application must be submitted by Oct. 3 and include the application form, a summary of the project, maintenance plan and an image of the proposed site. Incomplete applications will be rejected.


To learn more about the grant program and to download an application, visit https://argardenshow.org/about/greening-of-arkansas-grant-program/.


The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without discrimination.


— Ryan McGeeney is with the U of A System Division of Agriculture.