press & News

The RMSC Receives Lowe’s Hometowns Grant

    ROCHESTER, NY, June 30, 2022 – 

    The RMSC (Rochester Museum & Science Center) is pleased to announce that it has been awarded an $85,000 grant as part of Lowe’s Hometowns, an initiative helping to restore and revitalize spaces that serve as the hubs and heartbeats of communities. The RMSC was chosen as 1 out of 100 groups to receive this grant. They will use these funds to revive an unused part of their campus with a community garden and green space dubbed “Pollinator Park” in downtown Rochester, New York.


    This grant allows the RMSC a unique opportunity to transform a garden into an educational space. Pollinator Park will include a greenhouse, garden beds, natural play equipment, honey bee apiaries, and an outdoor classroom. The location will be used as an educational and accessible space for all. Local schools will be welcomed into the outdoor classroom to learn about environmental justice, supporting pollinators, and the importance of green spaces in urban areas. 


    “This garden will be unique in that it will primarily be an educational space for community members to learn about gardening, native plants and crops that grow well in our region, and ideally will act as a hub where City of Rochester residents can learn about community gardens that are local to their neighborhoods. As an outdoor classroom with a greenhouse, composting tumblers, and a water catchment system, Pollinator Park will offer all visitors ample learning opportunities about self-sufficiency and environmental conservation.” – Travis Hughes, Manager of Floor Experiences & Volunteers, RMSC (Leading the project) 


    Over 1 in 10 New York state households experience food insecurity– this rate is even higher in households with children. The RMSC is located in the Rochester City School District where in 2018-2019, 100% of the school population qualified for free or reduced lunches. Situated in a hyperlocal population highly impacted by food insecurity, this educational opportunity will provide resources to learn about growing your own food and support local students. This grant includes funds for employing local teens to participate in the construction of the community-building project and support their professional development. Additionally, the RMSC will welcome members of the community to volunteer in co-creating the space. Through building an inclusive outdoor environment for learning, The RMSC hopes to embrace the Rochester community on its campus and positively impact the people it shares an urban environment with.


    “We are thrilled to be able to create a new and vibrant space that will be engaging to the entire community. Providing access and opportunities to interact with science and natural learning is an essential part of what the RMSC does, and this project helps our mission forward in an exciting way.” – Hillary Olson, President & CEO, RMSC 


    If community members are interested in volunteering for this project, they can reach out to, or stay up to date on opportunities at


    For more information on the grant, click here.