Ann Arbor Awesome Foundation funds Flint community garden founded by U-M football players

The Ann Arbor Awesome Foundation awarded a $1,000 mini-grant to Team Gardens on March 4, 2018 to fund its community garden in Flint.

The Flint #Eating Garden is one of multiple community gardens operated by Team Gardens. Team Gardens was founded by former University of Michigan (U-M) football stars Vincent Smith and Martavious Odoms and U-M grad Sonya Sutherland. Odoms and Smith started their first community garden in their hometown of Pahokee, Florida as a way to give back to their community.

Ann Arbor Awesome Foundations trustees present Vincent Smith and Sonya Sutherland with their $1,000 grant.

Ann Arbor Awesome Foundation trustees present Vincent Smith and Sonya Sutherland with their $1,000 grant.

From there, Sutherland and Smith quickly shifted their focus to found a community garden to serve an under-resourced population in Michigan. With the help of other former U-M football players, Team Gardens made the decision to start its newest garden in Flint. The #Eating Garden now occupies five city lots. Team Gardens is currently remediating the soil to grow plants, removing invasive species, and maintaining the area. The team has already created raised bed areas to grow vegetables, focusing on crops that have low water needs.

Awesome Foundation grant funds will be used to purchase a variety of supplies for the #Eating demonstration garden and health and nutrition education outreach. The garden’s goal is to get residents active outdoors.

The Ann Arbor Awesome Foundation is the Ann Arbor chapter of the Boston-based micro-philanthropic organization known as the Awesome Foundation. Each fully autonomous chapter supports awesome projects through micro-grants, usually given out monthly. These micro-grants, $1,000 or the local equivalent, come out of the pockets of the chapter’s “trustees” and are given on a no-strings-attached basis to people and groups working on awesome projects.