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Backyard Growers Inc.

 269 Main Street
 Gloucester, MA 01930
[P] (978) 317-8025
[F] --
www.backyardgrowers.org
lara@backyardgrowers.org
Lara Lepionka
Facebook
INCORPORATED: 2014
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 47-1553021

LAST UPDATED: 09/22/2016
Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years Yes

Summary

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Mission StatementMORE »

Backyard Growers (BYG) is a grassroots initiative helping to reshape Gloucester’s relationship with food. We begin by providing resources and support to establish vegetable gardens at homes, housing communities, schools, and organizations. In the end we create life-long gardeners inspired by the power of growing one’s own food.


  

Mission Statement

Backyard Growers (BYG) is a grassroots initiative helping to reshape Gloucester’s relationship with food. We begin by providing resources and support to establish vegetable gardens at homes, housing communities, schools, and organizations. In the end we create life-long gardeners inspired by the power of growing one’s own food.


  

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2016 to Dec 31, 2016
Projected Income $237,063.00
Projected Expense $232,070.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Backyard Garden Program
  • Community Garden Program
  • Schoolyard Garden Program

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Overview

Mission Statement

Backyard Growers (BYG) is a grassroots initiative helping to reshape Gloucester’s relationship with food. We begin by providing resources and support to establish vegetable gardens at homes, housing communities, schools, and organizations. In the end we create life-long gardeners inspired by the power of growing one’s own food.


  

Background Statement

Backyard Growers (BYG) is a grassroots initiative helping to reshape Gloucester’s relationship with food. We begin by providing resources and support to establish vegetable gardens in homes and schools. In the end we create life-long gardeners inspired by the power of growing one’s own food. BYG began in 2010 as a program of the Cape Ann Farmers’ Market as part of their strategic approach to connect Gloucester, MA residents with healthy food. Because of BYG’s rapid growth, BYG has recently become its own entity under the fiscal sponsorship of Cape Ann Business Incubator, a nonprofit organization. BYG meets its goals through its many strategic partnerships, including the City of Gloucester, Gloucester Public Schools, The Food Project, The Open Door, and Cape Ann Farmers’ Market, among others.

In the Backyard Garden Program, BYG partners with The Food Project to provide low- to moderate-income Gloucester residents with raised bed vegetable gardens and supplies, an annual garden training program, and ongoing mentor support. The gardens are intended to increase residents’ access to fresh produce, change families’ attitudes and behaviors toward eating vegetables, improve environmental conditions in downtown neighborhoods, and build community and self-sufficiency within diverse populations.

Since the program began, BYG has constructed 120 new gardens, served over 125 families and groups, including a senior housing facility, a low-income housing community, a homeless shelter, a food pantry, and a Head Start preschool program. One of BYG’s main goals is to change children’s attitudes and behaviors toward eating fresh vegetables. According to our 2012 survey data, we are meeting this goal—families report that as a result of their children’s participation in the family garden, children eat more fresh vegetables and participate more in healthy meal planning and preparation.

In order to deepen our impact and increase children’s access to growing and fresh eating opportunities, BYG launched a 2013 pilot Schoolyard Garden Program at all five of Gloucester’s elementary schools, serving over 1,300 students. The goals of the school garden program are to expose every elementary school child to the experience of growing and eating fresh vegetables, to have gardens become part of school culture, and to build the capacity of each school to maintain their gardens for the long-term with limited resources. The signature events of the Schoolyard Garden Program are Spring Salad Days and Fall Harvest Days—two planting and harvesting events a year where every elementary school child plants, harvests, and eats the food that they grew.


Impact Statement

2014 Accomplishments:

  1. Developed in-school and out-of-school enrichment programs and workshops around our successful Salad Days program in the district schools.
  2. Constructed 30 new garden beds in the community in fall 2014.
  3. Continued to develop partnerships with the medical community and social service organizations to expand our outreach.
  4. Completed our BYG program operations manual.

 2015 Goals: 

1. Circle back to original backyard growers participants to track their success and challenges, measure long-term impact, and assess garden sites on rental properties where new renters need training. 
2. Design and Implement a series of community educational workshops and events to support backyard and community garden participants and the general public.
3. Formalize our volunteer recruitment, orientation and retention strategies. 
4.  Srengthen the K-5 Schoolyard Garden Program based on the successes and challenges of our current program, and expand and improve our garden programs for 6th graders at O’Maley Innovation Middle School and for students at the public Gloucester pre-school. 
5. Develop a structure for our Community Garden Program and assume a hands-on management role at all garden sites.  

Needs Statement

Needs:

  1. $30,000 to support new Community Programs Manager position
  2. $30,000 to support new School Programs Manager position
  3. Technical assistance to develop earned income strategies to expand BYG’s revenue generating capabilities.
  4. Resources to help develop measurement tools for our new school garden program initiatives.

 


CEO Statement

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Board Chair Statement

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Geographic Area Served

NORTHEAST REGION, MA

Gloucester families and residents and Cape Ann students.

Organization Categories

  1. Food, Agriculture & Nutrition - Agricultural Programs
  2. -
  3. -

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)

No

Programs

Backyard Garden Program

BYG partners with The Food Project to provide low- to moderate-income Gloucester residents with raised bed vegetable gardens and supplies, an annual garden training program, and ongoing mentor support over a two-year period. The gardens are intended to increase residents’ access to fresh produce, change families’ attitudes and behaviors toward eating vegetables, improve environmental conditions in downtown neighborhoods, and build community and self-sufficiency within diverse populations.

Budget  $25,000.00
Category  Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, General/Other Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, General/Other
Population Served Families Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success 
  • Since the program began, BYG has constructed 120 new gardens, served over 125 low- to moderate-income families and groups, including a senior housing facility, a low-income housing community, a homeless shelter, a food pantry, and a Head Start preschool program.
  • 48% of participants live in poverty/food desert census tracks--our garden resources are going where they are needed most.

 

Program Long-Term Success 
  • Increased consumption of fresh vegetables
  • Family behavior and attitude changes that lead to new healthy eating habits
  • Backyard gardening becoming part of family lifestyle and culture

 

Program Success Monitored By 

Program success if measured by the results of biennial participant surveys and our mapping tool, which tracks the locations of all of our participant sites. The survey tool includes a variety of measures with a focus on behavior and attitude changes.

Examples of Program Success 

One of BYG’s main goals is to change children’s attitudes and behaviors toward eating fresh vegetables. According to our 2012 survey data, we are meeting this goal—families report that as a result of their children’s participation in the family garden, children eat more fresh vegetables and participate more in healthy meal planning and preparation. For our most recent survey results please visit: http://capeannfarmersmarket.org/backyard-growers/files/FINAL2012BYGstatsPUBLIC.pdf.


Community Garden Program

The Community Garden program provides hands-on management, training, oversight and maintenance to local agencies and low-income housing sites to help them develop multi-plot community gardens for their residents and constituents. The gardens are intended to increase residents’ access to fresh produce, and build community and self-sufficiency within diverse populations.


Budget  $25,000.00
Category  Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, General/Other
Population Served Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success 

Program Short-term success

• In 2015 BYG will assume a hands-on management role for all seven community garden sites that have been established with BYG help.

• New protocols for community garden governance will be put into place, including garden participant contracts, group work days, and ensuring all garden beds are in use.

• By the end of the growing season, 100% of community garden beds will be in use and community garden participants will be eating vegetables grown in their gardens.

Program Long-Term Success 

Program Long-term success

• All agencies in Gloucester serving low to moderate income individuals will host community gardens managed by BYG.

• Those agencies that offer meal service will incorporate food grown in the gardens to their meals.

• Increased consumption of fresh vegetables

• Participant behavior and attitude changes that lead to new healthy eating habits


Program Success Monitored By 

Program success is measured by the results of biennial participant surveys and our mapping tool, which tracks the locations of all of our community garden sites. The survey tool includes a variety of measures with a focus on behavior and attitude changes.


Examples of Program Success 

Burnhams Field Community Garden was established on a formerly trash-strewn, neglected site in Gloucester's 'poverty tract' neighborhood. The Garden is now a thriving community hub, with 20 active plots, a waiting list of new gardeners, and plans to add additional plots in summer 2015. One Burnham’s Field gardener said “My kids thought that vegetables came from cans before we started our garden. Now my six year old can’t wait for the cherry tomatoes to ripen every summer so she can eat them right off the plant!”


Schoolyard Garden Program

In order to deepen our impact and increase children’s access to growing and fresh eating opportunities, BYG launched the Schoolyard Garden Program in 2013 at all five of Gloucester’s elementary schools, serving over 1,300 students. The goals of the school garden program are to expose every elementary school child to the experience of growing and eating fresh vegetables, to have gardens become part of school culture, and to build the capacity of each school to maintain their gardens for the long-term with limited resources. A FoodCorps Service Member supports this program by leading the following activities: Spring Salad Days and Fall Harvest Days—two planting and harvesting events a year where every elementary school child plants, harvests, and eats the food that they grew; in-school programming to support Salad Days; after school garden club at Veterans School; family garden workshops; and spring and fall lunchroom vegetable tastings.

Budget  $50,000.00
Category  Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, General/Other Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, General/Other
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years) At-Risk Populations Families
Program Short-Term Success 

Short-term success includes a successful 2013 pilot year where over 1,300 children planted, harvested, and ate from their school garden. Success can be attributed to a solid plan that involved all stakeholders and engaged the entire school community.

Program Long-Term Success 

Long-term success includes children demonstrating a new appreciation and acceptance of eating fresh vegetables and making healthy food choices as a result of being part of the gardening process.

Program Success Monitored By 

Program success will be monitored by teacher interviews, student pre and post evaluations, and visual documentation of students participating in garden activities and sampling fresh vegetables in the cafeteria.

Examples of Program Success 

Documentation of program success from our pilot year can be found on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/BackyardGrowersProgram


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Management


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Lara Lepionka
CEO Term Start Sept 2009
CEO Email lara@backyardgrowers.org
CEO Experience --
Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

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CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

The Executive Director has also indicated that Backyard Growers has 4 full-time Americorps Vista members working with them in 2016.

Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 3
Number of Part Time Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 100
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 3
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 3
Male: 0
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers --
Management Succession Plan --
Business Continuity of Operations Plan --
Organization Policies And Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Under Development
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy --
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit --
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions

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Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? N/A
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Semi-Annually

Governance


Board Chair Ms. Jennifer Perry
Board Chair Company Affiliation Director of Distribution and Nutrition, The Open Door
Board Chair Term Jan 2015 - Dec 2017
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Joel Favazza Seafive Legal Solutions Voting
Karen Harrison Oxfam America Voting
Ann Lasman Chelsea Public Schools --
Lara Lepionka Backyard Growers Voting
Amelia Monday Short & Main Restaurant Voting
Jennifer Perry The Open Door Voting
Lori Shea Smith Babson & Company Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 7
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 6
Male: 1
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 6
Board Meeting Attendance % 100%
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

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CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

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Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2016 to Dec 31, 2016
Projected Income $237,063.00
Projected Expense $232,070.00
Form 990s --
Audit Documents --
IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Total Revenue $186,805 $99,956 $44,312
Total Expenses $159,023 $74,413 $25,250

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$136,603 $78,192 $31,834
Government Contributions $6,521 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified $6,521 -- --
Individual Contributions $4,256 $12,929 $8,846
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $20,953 $8,835 $1,632
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- --
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events $18,472 -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- $2,000

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Program Expense $143,121 $59,816 $25,250
Administration Expense $7,951 $4,836 --
Fundraising Expense $7,951 $9,761 --
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.17 1.34 1.75
Program Expense/Total Expenses 90% 80% 100%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 5% 11% 0%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Total Assets $91,991 $59,958 $19,062
Current Assets $85,091 $53,058 $19,062
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Total Net Assets $91,991 $59,958 $19,062

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy --
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 1.00

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities -- -- --

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

Backyard Growers (BG) is a newer organization, having acquired its 501(c)3 status in late 2015. It was formerly fiscally sponsored by the Cape Ann Business Incubator, Inc. (CABI). 
 
Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above was provided by the organization and is per its Profit / Loss documents, covering Jan. 1 - Dec. 31.
 
Per the organization, the difference between the revenue and expense totals for fiscal year 2013 can be attributed to the preparations BG undertook to become its own organization.

Documents


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.

Impact

The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.


1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

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2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

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3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

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4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

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5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

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