The Carmel Green Teen Micro-Grant Program offers funding for volunteer sustainability projects designed and carried out by young people in Carmel. It recently awarded two grants to three members of Helping Ninjas.
“Helping Ninjas is a student-led, not-for-profit. It was started as a little group of kids doing things to learn about pollinators, composting and gardening,” said Lindsey Berry, Helping Ninjas executive director.
The three College Wood Elementary School students, Siddarth Chavali (fifth grade), Vedh Barre (third grade) and Leo Berry (second grade) applied for two grants and received both. The first was $1,000 and will go toward beautifying Founders Park.
“There are three areas in Founders Park that are in need of renovation. We want to remove invasive species and plant butterfly gardens,” Berry said. “In the larger area the kids are hoping to create some sort of walking path.”
The second grant was $780 and will benefit the Carmel School Community Organic Garden, College Wood Elementary and Carmel Green Team Student Clubs.
“They want to inform kids of the importance of eating fresh food,” Berry said. “They also have a plot there at the community garden where they will solely be growing pumpkins. They hope to have a field trip with their school in the fall to pick the pumpkins and then donate them.”
The grant ceremony was May 4 at Founders Park.
“The kids got to stand up and a few of the leaders got to stand up and tell the audience about their knowledge of pollinators and the importance of composting,” Berry said. “It was a neat opportunity for them to use their public speaking skills. It’s neat for them to see if they have an idea and work really hard they can actually see it through.”
For more, visit helpingninjas.com.