WVPA Sharing

Over $20,000 up for grabs in the Grow This Throwdown 

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia University Extension will award over $20,000 in grant funding to winners of the inaugural Grow This Throwdown gardening competition later this year. 

The grand prize winner will receive $10,000 in grant funding. The second prize winner will receive $7,500. Third prize is $5,000 and is sponsored by the West Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association.

“We’ve seen so much enthusiasm for the Grow This Throwdown over the last six months. But now that participants know how much money is on the line, I’m sure the competition will kick into overdrive,” said Kristin McCartney, Extension specialist and SNAP-Ed coordinator with the WVU Extension Family Nutrition Program. “And we’re excited the West Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association wanted to come onboard to help us celebrate and reward the hard work of our participants.”

West Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association is a professional trade association dedicated to supporting nursery and landscape businesses and vendors throughout the state.

“The members of West Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association are delighted to be a sponsor of Grow This and to watch as so many Mountain State gardeners nurture the plants they started. We wish the best of luck to all in the Grow This Throwdown,” Julie Robinson, the group’s executive director, said.

The Grow This Throwdown launched in January as the latest incarnation of WVU Extension Family Nutrition Program’s popular free seed initiative, the Grow This: West Virginia Garden Challenge. The new competition pits West Virginia counties against one another in a series of challenges. 

The Throwdown has challenged participants to send soil for testing at the WVU Soil Testing Lab, color Easter eggs with natural ingredients from the garden and plant “edible landscapes” in communities around the state, among other challenges. When a Grow This participant completes a challenge and reports it online, they earn points for their county Throwdown teams. These points are tracked on Throwdown leaderboard.

The 2024 competition will end October 31, and the counties holding the top three spots on the Throwdown leaderboard will receive grants to complete improvement projects in their communities.

“Grow This participants have shown such creativity and dedication. These grants will ensure their communities benefit from that passion for years to come,” McCartney said.

The grant money will be given to community organizations to complete improvement projects in the winning counties. The Family Nutrition Program will work with Grow This participants in the winning county, as well as their local WVU Extension office, to identify the projects and organizations that will receive funding.

For more information about Grow This and the Grow This Throwdown, visit growthiswv.org or check out the program’s Facebook and Instagram pages — @growthiswv.

WVU Extension Family Nutrition Program’s work is supported by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) from the USDA Food and Nutrition Service. 

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