The Growing Experience has received various awards and grants over the years. Here are some of the notable acknowledgments:
In June 2014, TGE received a $50,000 Grant from the CA Natural Resources
Agency for "The Growing Experience Urban Food Forest." When
implemented, this project will include native and drought-tolerant food
plantings planted in a design which mimics the natural system of a forest or
woodland. TGE Food Forest will serve as a demonstration site for the community
on landscaping with water efficient plants that are both ornamental and also
have edible or herbal value. It will reduce air and water pollution, serve as
an educational resource for adjacent schools and improve community engagement
through volunteer workdays, "Harvest Days", and seasonally sponsored
community events to share food and knowledge.
In June 2014, TGE was awarded a $51,000 Grant from the Los Angeles County
Productivity Investment Fund to install an Aquaponics and Vertical Towers Food
Production System at TGE. The environmentally and financially sustainable
system will allow for an increased growing capacity of high-quality affordable
nutritious produce for the residents of Los Angeles County, provide skilled
training opportunities for disadvantaged youth and young adults, and
substantially reduce water needs and other resources.
In June 2012, TGE received a grant award from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation's Donor Advised Fund administered by the Long Beach Community Foundation. The award will be used toward constructing a community kitchen at the Carmelitos Community Center.
In May 2012, TGE received (through CDF) a grant from the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation to develop and implement an Urban Agriculture Incubator Training Program to recruit, train, and develop program participants from Carmelitos and the surrounding community to start micro-enterprises utilizing available resources and land at TGE.
In September 2011, the California State Association of Counties recognized The Growing Experience with an award of Merit for their creative and effective way of delivering services to County residents.
The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) recognized The Growing Experience with a 2011 Award of Merit in Housing and Community Development. The Growing Experience application also advanced to NAHRO's National Awards of Excellence competition.
The City of Long Beach awarded The Growing Experience with a 2011 Neighborhood Partners Program (NPP) Grant in the amount of $5,000. Funds from the award will be used toward sustainable development of the facility, including rain barrels to harvest rainwater, solar landscape lighting, and the installation of fruit trees.
In April 2011, the County of Los Angeles' Chief Executive Office and Board of Supervisors recognized The Growing Experience with a 2011 Green Leadership Award in the Government/Public Agency category for outstanding achievements in fulfilling innovative strategies to improve environmental sustainability, and provide benefits to the residents of Los Angeles County.
In 2009, The Growing Experience was awarded $50,000 from the California Green Jobs Corps Initiative, which is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), to provide job and skills training to low-income young adults in the areas of sustainable agriculture and drought-tolerant landscaping.
TreePeople (a non-profit environmental group) awarded The Growing Experience with over 500 fruit trees since 2007 to plant at the community garden and for distribution to area residents.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California awarded The Growing Experience a $5,000 grant for development and installation of a native and drought-tolerant garden in 2007.
The City of Long Beach awarded The Growing Experience a $7,500 Neighborhood Partners Grant in 2006.
In 2006, The Growing Experience was a joint recipient of the 20th Annual Productivity and Quality Awards for “Community Image Enhancement”, from the County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors, Chief Administrative Office.
The State of California, Resources Agency awarded The Growing Experience a $30,000 grant in 1998.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded The Growing Experience an Economic Development Initiatives Grant in the amount of $250,000 in 1996.
The Growing Experience received recognition from the Ford Foundation and John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, as one of the most innovative programs in American Government in 1996.
In addition, The Growing Experience has had some notable accomplishments. Among them are:
In 2010, The Growing Experience launched a Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) program with 50 subscribers receiving sustainably grown produce from the farm. The subscribers include public housing residents and local community members.
Over 90 resident participants have been trained at The Growing Experience. As a result, several residents have moved from public housing, to purchase their own homes.
Over 50 youth have gained their first employment opportunity by participating in the program, made possible through the California Green Jobs Corps Initiative and Summer Youth Employment Training Program in conjunction with the City of Long Beach.
The Growing Experience is certified with a License to Sell Nursery Stock from the California Department of Food and Agriculture. This license allows the sale of seedlings and plants.
The Growing Experience has a Certified Producer’s Certificate from the California Department of Food and Agriculture to sell produce grown at the farm.