GROW Cincinnati by Urban Blooms is the first ever nonprofit program designed to improve communities through public living wall installations. Thanks to support from The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, Urban Blooms will be providing up to $25,000 in matching funding to neighborhoods in the Cincinnati area interested in a public living wall installation. This will reduce Urban Blooms’ already low cost of premium living walls down to $60/ square foot, a shockingly low number compared to the $250/ square foot these gardens normally cost in the private market. As a result, for the first time ever, communities will be able to decide where they would like to see these beautiful, state-of-the-art public installations in their neighborhoods. Where it makes sense with that particular neighborhoods future development plans. This will empower communities to achieve their goals and vision for their neighborhood, whether that be: attracting development, becoming more sustainable, increasing walkability, providing a cultural landmark, creating an educational resource, adding green space, providing havens for wildlife, or just giving something back to the people of that community.
GROW Cincinnati Living Walls will be awarded to two communities this first year. Neighborhood organizations are encouraged to summit application to Urban Blooms by July 1st. Each application will need to show the location of the proposed living wall, Social Impact, Economic Impact, Environmental Impact, support from the community, proof of matching funding, and permission from the building owner. We will judge each application based on Impact and Support from the community and award 2 communities GROW Cincinnati Living Walls. Awarded communities will also receive a grand opening neighborhood party in front of the wall upon completion.
For too long locations of Living Wall installations and beautification, in general, have been decided by wealthy building owners, and property developers. Often times the people living in the communities in which these efforts take place know little to nothing about the beautification taking place. This lack of communication and exclusion results in community members not feeling the pride and ownership they should what is happening in their community. GROW Cincinnati is Urban Bloom’s answer to this dilemma. By giving the power to dictate the location of beautiful living art installations to community organizations themselves, and then conducting place making activities at the installation sites, people of those communities should feel empowered.