growing the youth garden movement

KidsGardening is proud to support school and youth gardens across the country with the Youth Garden Grant, the nation’s first and longest running grant for youth garden programs. Launched in 1982, the grant has awarded nearly $3 million to gardens that serve kids across the country.

In 2019 alone, we had more than 800 applications from all 50 states and Washington, DC. We were amazed by all of the wonderful and diverse programs growing happier, healthier kids in the garden; and we wish we could fund them all! That’s why we could not be more grateful for the support of our sponsors who are helping us grow this program and bring the joy of gardening to more kids across the country.

Here are just a few things some of our sponsors had to say about why they support KidsGardening and the Youth Garden Grant:

“Gardener's Supply was founded in 1983 with the premise that we could be a positive force for change. We've encouraged millions of people to get their hands in the soil and grow their own food, create beautiful, earth-friendly gardens and — in the process – become backyard environmentalists and land stewards," said Gardener's Supply Good Works Manager Lena Molinari. "KidsGardening has led the youth gardening movement for more than 35 years with the goal of providing every child the opportunity to learn and grow through gardening, and we want to help them fulfill that promise.”

Ed Knapton, owner of America’s Best Flowers says, “We take great pride in growing the plants we sell and believe that gardening is a powerful learning tool for all ages. We are blessed with the opportunity to nurture a child’s outlook on the world and love to see a kid’s face light up with pure joy. We support the Youth Garden Grant because with the right tools and experiences, children can gain both the physical skills of planting and harvesting their own food, and the emotional skills of patience and self-satisfaction of a job well-done.”

"Teaching children how to get their hands dirty to grow food is a tremendous gift – especially in the times we live in - and such a positive thing for their development,” says Ken Lane, Stark Bro’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Like music and art, they learn how to create - but they also gain math, vocabulary and organizing skills, along with a sense of responsibility for living things … and not just those in the garden. We’re very interested in fostering young peoples’ interest in agriculture - perhaps one of those students may grow up to make a groundbreaking discovery, or even come to work at Stark Bro’s.”

Jon Merrill of B.B. Barns agrees, “If we don't take the time to introduce kids to how important horticulture and agriculture are, we run the risk of losing an entire generation, on both a personal and business level.”

Says Jim Gerritsen of Wood Prairie Family Farm, “My wife Megan and I have been organic farmers for over 40 years. In a pattern long familiar, we're now handing the farm down to our son, Caleb. Such generational transfers of practical gardening knowledge have been going on since the dawn of agriculture 10,000 years ago. From the moment we first heard of KidsGardening, we knew we wanted to become involved. Benefiting our planet's future by helping kids and nurturing in them a love of gardening is in total alignment with the lifelong goals and work of our family farm."

Read more about how we’re working together to grow the youth gardening movement in the latest issue of Lawn and Garden Retailer magazine!

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