College Avenue United Methodist Church receives $2,000 grant for Solar-Powered Irrigation in the Mission Garden

College Avenue United Methodist Church in Muncie is thrilled and thankful to receive a  $2,000 grant from the United Methodist Foundation of Indiana for the installation of solar-powered irrigation in the Mission Garden.

The idea for College Avenue’s Mission Garden was conceived in 2016 and made a reality in Spring 2017. Irrigation was a consistent problem during the first growing season. Rain barrels were installed and volunteers brought water during dry spells. However, watering the vegetation was done by taking buckets or watering cans to the plants. A solar-powered irrigation system was suggested.

In Spring of 2018, College Avenue applied for a grant to fund the solar irrigation system. The grant was approved and the irrigation system was fully installed in June 2018. This makes College Avenue’s Mission Garden unique and gives the ability to grow more produce.

“We are beyond grateful for the generosity of the United Methodist Foundation of Indiana,” said the Rev. Lisa Schubert Nowling, pastor of College Avenue. “We’re situated on the edge of Ball State University’s campus, which is a food desert where people do not have easy access to fresh fruits and vegetables at supermarkets or local groceries. With the solar irrigation system, we will be able to provide more produce to our community and live into our vision of being a missional church.”

The Mission Garden produced nearly 1,200 pounds of produce its first season.  All produce was donated to Mission Garden partners, the Soup Kitchen of Muncie and Covenant Partners.

“We’re actually finding a solution to problems by providing food for people,” stated volunteer Becky Byrum. “It also helps us to be mindful of when you’re given a lot, you need to give a lot.”

For more information, please contact the Communications Director, Nichole Call, at 765-289-7337 or


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