STAMFORD, Conn. – Two organizations with a commitment to improving and beautifying communities across the country are pleased to bring back Taking Root, a gardening grant program introduced last year. 

Troy-Bilt, a leading manufacturer of outdoor power equipment, and Keep America Beautiful (KAB), the nation’s leading nonprofit bringing people together to build and sustain vibrant communities, will award five KAB community groups a total of $25,000 in grants and up to $6,500 in Troy-Bilt lawn care products.

Keep America Beautiful-certified affiliates in good standing were invited to apply for the Taking Root grant for a garden-oriented or outdoor beautification project such as starting a community garden, implementing an education program or embarking on a cleanup effort. Among the applications received, five finalists were selected and announced on takingroot.troybilt.com.

The public is encouraged to learn about each project and vote for a favorite on the Taking Root voting site by May 25, 2014. The organization with the most votes will receive a $12,000 cash grant, plus up to $2,000 in Troy-Bilt products. The finalist with the second-most votes will be rewarded with an $8,000 grant and up to $1,500 in equipment, and the finalist with the third-most votes will be rewarded with a $5,000 grant and up to $1,000 in equipment. The remaining finalists will receive Troy-Bilt products.

The five finalists, in alphabetical order, are:

  • Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful, Milwaukee, Wis.
  • Keep Greenwood County Beautiful, Greenwood, S.C.
  • Keep North Platte and Lincoln Co. Beautiful, North Platte, Neb.
  • Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful, Tampa, Fla.
  • Newport News Public Works Recycling, Newport News, Va.

Voters also will be entered into a sweepstakes, accruing one entry per day, to win a Lowe’s gift card and a cash donation on their behalf to a KAB affiliate. The prizes and donations will increase in value as the total number of votes increase.

Taking Root voting will close at 11:59 p.m. EST on May 25, 2014, and the winner will be announced on or around May 27.