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Apply for a School Garden Grant

By Rebecca Joerres, August 16, 2011  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Rebecca Joerres

UPDATE: For the 2012-13 school year, our application window is open from Oct 8, 2012 to Nov 15, 2012 and the process has changed! Please check out our webpage for the latest instructions and eligibilities: http://www.wholekidsfoundation.org/gardengrants.php.


Beginning August 17th, Whole Kids Foundation School Garden Grant Program will be accepting online applications for school garden grants! In partnership with FoodCorps, Whole Kids Foundation will grant 1000 schools $2000 each to build or expand their school garden. To kids (and many adults!), gardens are magical places where they can see things come to life. Experiencing that process for themselves helps kids understand that food comes from plants, and not out of a box or off a truck. With that in mind, the goal of the garden grant program is to support schools wanting to establish or grow their gardening programs so they can offer their students the great experience of gardening. Learning about the process of growing food helps children develop a deep understanding of the connection between healthy eating and a healthy body. Like anyone who gardens, kids are proud of the fruits of their labor and are more apt to eat the fresh veggies they’ve grown. School gardens also offer an opportunity to integrate math, science and health curriculum into a dynamic, interactive setting. Plus, teaching kids to garden helps them learn about complex topics like sustainability and conservation, food systems and community awareness. If you’re interested in getting a garden in your local school and want to find out more about the online application process, visit the Whole Kids Foundation School Garden Grant Program page for a downloadable PDF with complete grant information. Then, when you’re ready to apply online, you’ll follow three steps:

Step 1: On your first visit, you’ll be asked to provide your email address and create a password. If you want to complete your application in two sessions, when you return simply click the Login button on the right side of the page.

Step 2: The second section of the application requires information about the applying entity: the school, district, or nonprofit organization to whom the grant will be paid.

Step 3: The final section of the application is to learn more about the garden project for which you are applying, what groups are involved, how students will be engaged and the details of your garden plan including timeline and budget.

Grant applications will be accepted through December 31, 2011.  Applications will be reviewed and recipients will be notified in February 2012. There is a limit of one garden grant per school. What do you think? Would a school garden grant help bring momentum and passion for healthy food, agriculture and nutrition into your local school?




Connie says ...
What about a grant that college students can apply for? To start an on campus garden for their school community?
08/16/2011 3:42:38 PM CDT
Angel says ...
Can this be a Pre-School?
08/17/2011 11:33:28 AM CDT
Nicole says ...
Can homeschoolers get in on this?
08/17/2011 12:21:51 PM CDT
Birdsong says ...
Thanks for the wonderful opportunity!
08/17/2011 1:26:08 PM CDT
Lily says ...
$2000 isn't a lot but it is a start. Good to see this.
08/17/2011 2:44:55 PM CDT
Maile says ...
I noticed a discussion on your FB page as to whether home schoolers will also be eligible for the grants - will they ? JMO, I think it only fair that all schools (private, public and home) be allowed to apply for and be eligible for winning the grants. There are many home schooled children in the same "poverty" levels as those in public schools, and offering them & their families the opportunity for a community garden or perhaps to individual families (not sure how you would do that) seems a wonderful gift. So again, will all schools be eligible - home school, private school as well as public school ?
08/17/2011 8:51:19 PM CDT
Mary arling says ...
We do not even have a full kitchen and we have a whole school full of intelligent parents and kids who waste food and eat so much junk it would make your stomach turn. It could be a real learning experience and eye opening situation for many people!!!
08/17/2011 10:07:21 PM CDT
Kemborllay says ...
Sure , it would shift the focus to growing and caring for the plants--rather than just being a consumer. Growing plants and vegtables, fruit etc. cultivates awareness in a different way. Good to know!....
08/17/2011 11:42:21 PM CDT
Katy says ...
Although I applaud the effort....aren't gardens more suitable for summer camps? Gardens need daily tending to when school's out for summer. I would love for my child's school to have a garden, but fear that I would be the one taking care of all summer.
08/18/2011 3:13:45 AM CDT
Kristen says ...
This is such a great opportunity. Every school should have a garden to introduce children to the science of life and health, the joy of healthy eating and watching growth, and just keeping people in touch with the earth. In my own little ideal world, every child would spend part of every day in a garden. They'd also walk to school, but that's a whole other issue.
08/18/2011 10:40:40 AM CDT
Nushin says ...
Great opportunity. Can the funds be used for Hydroponic gardening indoors? Thanks
08/18/2011 4:26:19 PM CDT
Kelly Osborne says ...
Online application link is not working. :-)
08/19/2011 1:20:24 PM CDT
Bobby Hawley says ...
@Kelly Osborne, We’ve fixed the broken link to the grant application. You can apply online at: http://www.wholekidsfoundation.org/gardengrants-application.php. Sorry for the inconvenience, and thanks for your interest in the program!
08/19/2011 4:28:24 PM CDT
heather says ...
Absolutely. I chose my daughter's school because of the garden project they have. The extra Huggies are given to a local shelter so they get to learn social responsibility as well.
08/20/2011 12:39:36 AM CDT
Karen Kingsbury says ...
Our school garden was started 6 years ago and has gone from a sand pit to a wonderful exhibit of bugs, plants and people benefiting from each other. I am needing some funding to expand and grow the experience for all at our school! Thank you Whole Foods!
08/22/2011 4:55:34 PM CDT
Guerry says ...
I could build an amazing garden complete with irrigation and composting for $2000.00 I've been using local cypress instead pressure treated for school gardens for under $200 for a 10'x12" bed complete with benches I would love to come up with a garden with that kind of budget good luck to all those that enter
08/23/2011 2:21:02 PM CDT
Jean (Warboy) Kossman says ...
The majority of my students live in the city in apartments with out yards. I would love to say they have more exposure to nature than to cement but, it is far from truth. Our school's playground is the parking lot for recess. I have been dreaming about planting a garden with the children at the East end of that parking lot. It is a grassy area that is around 25 feet wide and 60 feet in length. There is also a roof top area that I would like to turn into rooftop garden with container plants. I am the art teacher for Pre-K3 through 8th grade before I was an art teacher, I designed garden and landscape design books at Sunset Magazine and Books. It will be fortuitous to be able to use these Sunset books to help keep our garden thriving and alive. Thank you for helping me realize this garden dream of reconnecting the students to the land, showing them how to garden, how to eat what we will harvest. I hope to have convinced you St. Edmund's School is a good choice for your Whole Kids Foundation School Garden Grant? Thank you for seriously considering my intercity students as would be gardeners. I will be very grateful to help them develop their green thumbs.
08/23/2011 3:30:24 PM CDT
Alice says ...
need to spread the news to urban public school district websites!
08/24/2011 6:41:47 PM CDT
janejohnson says ...
@Connie Our Garden Grants aren't just for grade school, we'd love to see applications from all non-profit garden enthused organizations! This is a perfect opportunity for you to be an advocate for your school, but you will need to work closely with the school administration to meet the requirements. Follow this link to learn more and GROW! ;) http://www.wholekidsfoundation.org/gardengrants-application.php
08/26/2011 10:31:30 AM CDT
janejohnson says ...
@Angel Sure can! We're excited to give all non-profit garden enthused organizations a chance to grow, grow, grow. Check out the link included in the blog post that will lead you to the online application. Green growing!
08/26/2011 11:01:32 AM CDT
janejohnson says ...
@Nicole Unfortunately kiddos who are home schooled do not meet the requirements of eligibility. Applicants must: "Be a nonprofit school or school district (public, private or charter, elementary, middle or secondary) or a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working in partnership with one or more schools." If you have more questions about eligibility please send them to info@gardengrants.com.
08/26/2011 11:47:43 AM CDT
janejohnson says ...
@Nushin Good question! The eligibility and selection criteria can be found at the below link. If you still have questions about indoor hydroponic gardening, please send them to info@gardengrants.com http://www.wholekidsfoundation.org/gardengrants-application.php
08/26/2011 12:08:37 PM CDT
Hiawatha Bouldin says ...
Thanks for the effort. You're right on point about the "food deserts" especially in our marginalized (minority) communities. Provoding larger incentives that would bring the business community together with the schools may promote a greater response and outcome to this critically needed issue (need). Is there a cultural component to this grant to educate possible recipients on why they need (and don't have)healthy foods in their communities. That would help greatly.
09/07/2011 10:47:14 AM CDT
Joan Gelfond says ...
Thank you for the opportunity to apply. The need to involve children in learning from where their food comes from begins at an early age. Incorporating the complete process of gardening all the way to the delivery of the goods to those in need teaches whjat community is all about. - The Shlenker School
12/20/2011 9:29:17 AM CST
Derrick Lachance says ...
Thank you Whole Foods for this wonderful opportunity. I was wondering if the recipients have been notified. I noticed it said that winners would be notified in February. When I check the status of my grant application it is still marked pending. Ivy Drive School
03/02/2012 9:16:35 AM CST