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Downtown Bangor Rooftop Garden 

”Last year one of our members was in a position, he was living in an apartment and didn’t have access to the land he had always had and he had always had a garden,” says Deanna Partridge, Development and Communication Director for the Hammond Street Senior Center.As Charlie Taylor, a memeber of the senior center, looked out onto the rooftop he had an idea. “This is a great location for a garden. We get sun all day.”Partridge says, “The first year was a test year, just a couple small containers and this year it’s really taken off.”Now they’re looking to make the rooftop garden even bigger, but first they need to find funding.”You can’t go to the members all the time and say, we need some money. If we can get a grant it will help us,” explains Taylor.The folks at the senior center have entered their rooftop garden in a challenge called “Revelation to Action”. It’s a contest for socially innovative projects and community ideas in the northeast. The senior center is one of 15 finalists. Folks can vote online for their favorite project. The three projects that get the most votes each get a $5,000 grant.”The other piece of it is they’re also going to give an additional five-thousand dollars to the best project in each of the states in the northeast, and we’re one of only two finalists in Maine,” says Partridge. If they get the grant they plan to install an irrigation system and double the size of the garden. In turn, expanding the garden will help raise money and fund the project in the future. Taylor adds, “We’ve got peas and beans and cucs and tomatoes, quite a few of each plant. We’ll sell them and put it back into the gardin next year.”Taylor says they’ve created something that can be both self-sustaining and very rewarding.To vote for the Hammond Street Senior Center go to www.changemakers.com/revelation.