The Environmental Center’s Garden for Every School Program announces their annual garden grants are available. The goal of the small grant program is to provide local funding for public and private Pre K – 12 schools in Central Oregon to build or support a school garden. Gardens can be indoors, or an outdoor classroom, depending on the needs and goals of each school.
“One thing we’ve learned through school restrictions during the pandemic, is that it’s more important than ever for students to have opportunities for garden based learning on their own campus” said Denise Rowcroft, School Gardens Program Manager with The Environmental Center. “Whether it’s growing food in an indoor windowsill garden, building a sheltered outdoor classroom space, planting a native pollinator garden, or building a school garden that encompasses all of the above, these funds help schools implement garden based learning in ways that meet the unique needs and goals of their own school community.”
Applications are available online at envirocenter.org/schoolgardens (under the Garden Grant tab) and the deadline is December 10th, 2021. Over the last 4 years The Environmental Center has distributed over $42,000 in small grant funds to schools, educational farms, and youth organizations across Central Oregon. These funds supported 20 existing garden programs and helped create 12 new garden projects. For the 2021/2022 school year, we are particularly interested in reaching schools that we have not previously funded and who are interested in starting a new garden project at their site.
“Local schools are fortunate to have opportunities like the Garden For Every School Program,” says Bend La-Pine School District Sustainability Coordinator Jackie Wilson. “It helps students to connect to meaningful experiences outside the classroom and to become thriving and sustainability minded citizens.”
Garden activities and education provide a wide range of positive benefits for kids, communities and the environment. This garden grant program is one strategy in The Environmental Center’s Garden for Every School program. As part of this program, The Environmental Center also provides technical assistance to schools, has a FoodCorps service member to connect kids to healthy food in schools through garden and nutrition lessons, organizes local Garden Educator Network trainings and events, and operates the Kansas Avenue Learning Garden. Email denise Rowcroft with questions or technical assistance.