Wisconsin Garden Build Opportunity

In fall of 2023, McCain Foods and KidsGardening.org are partnering to build two new youth gardens in Wisconsin.

An adult and two kids work together to build a raised bed.

McCain Foods and KidsGardening Partnership

A youth garden can transform a courtyard or open space into an outdoor classroom, giving youth and educators the opportunity to interact with nature, be curious, engage in physical activity, practice cooperation, and learn problem-solving skills.

Not only are youth gardens getting kids outdoors and active, but they're also fostering much-needed connections. Youth gardens are bringing communities together and inspiring young gardeners to take action to help one another.

In support of their Planet Friendly Ambassadors program, McCain Foods and KidsGardening.org are partnering to build two new youth gardens in Wisconsin, one in Plover/Wisconsin Rapids and one in Appleton, so youth can find joy and wonder in the garden and learn about regenerative agriculture.

About KidsGardening

For more than 40 years, KidsGardening has used its experience as garden designers and educators to install high-impact, fun, and sustainable youth gardens across the country. We have built gardens for youth of all ages, from preschool to high school.

Check out a few of our garden installations projects:

  1. PT Holdings Garden Build at York Center Elementary - Lombard, IL
  2. DreamWorks Animation Garden Installation at the Caring Center - Philadelphia, PA
  3. Carson Daly and KidsGardening Plant a Garden at Brooklyn Arts and Science Elementary School and Exceed Charter - Brooklyn, NY
  4. ProFlowers Garden Expansion at Sequoia Elementary School - San Diego, CA

How it Works

KidsGardening and McCain Foods staff will work with your youth organization to design, build,  and implement a youth gardening program. Planning will start in July 2023 with a site visit on July 11, 2023, and the build event will take place on the weekend of September 15-17, 2023. Then, over the next 10 months, KidsGardening and McCain Foods will provide programmatic support and guidance on gardening basics and regenerative agriculture.

Applications are due June 16, 2023.


Any tax-exempt youth garden organization, such as a school, non-profit, Boys and Girls Club, YMCA, headstart, child care program, library, etc., located within 25 miles from Appleton, Plover, or Wisconsin Rapids, WI, is eligible.

Award Package

Two youth programs will be selected to receive a garden, one in Plover/Wisconsin Rapids and one in Appleton, Wisconsin. Each installation will include $5,000 worth of garden installation materials, plants, and tools.

The installation events will take place on the weekend of September 15-17, 2023.  

Funding Priorities

The selection of winners is prioritized based on demonstrated need and program impact. KidsGardening considers a variety of factors when determining need, including

  • Socioeconomic & Sociodemographic Factors: Does the program exist within or engage a community that has been systematically denied resources, whether physical assets and money or representative leadership and community services? Under-resourced organizations are given priority.
  • Program Funding and Support: Does a program have access to consistent, substantial monetary support or prior grant funding? Or are pre-existing resources (financial or otherwise) limited? Organizations experiencing the latter are considered higher need. Organizations experiencing the latter are given priority.
  • Impact: Will grant funding dramatically expand learning opportunities for program participants? Does the intended impact reflect the actual needs of the community? Organizations working with greater than 50 people will be given priority.

How to Apply

The deadline for application submission is Friday, June 16, 2023, at 11:59 PM PT.

All applications must be submitted online. You can download a copy of the questions as a Word document or PDF file. We strongly advise saving the questions and then pasting the answers into the online application rather than composing your answers directly into the online form. Many browsers time out after 30 minutes of inactivity (or sometimes sooner), so you may lose your work if it takes longer than your browser's setting to complete or save your entry. 

Award Notification and Fulfillment

Winners will be announced and contacted by email by June 26, 2023.

Grant Recipient Requirements

Grantees will need to be available for a site visit on July 11, 2023, the build event on the weekend of September 15-17, 2023, and complete a year-end report by June 15, 2024.

Site Visit: KidsGardening and McCain Foods will visit the programs in early July 2023 in order to complete a site analysis and learn more about the program’s idea for the garden design.  

Build Event: The installation events will take place the weekend of September 15-17, 2023. Employee volunteers from KidsGardening and McCain Foods will attend the event and help install the garden features. Programs will also invite their audience to the event. Kids and families will be welcome. All attendees will be required to complete a photo and liability waiver. Additionally, the programs will help KidsGardening and McCain Foods in securing food and water donations for the event, and with general event logistics.

Year-End Report: Lastly, programs are required to complete a year-end report by June 15, 2024. These reports help KidsGardening and McCain Foods determine the overall impact of the garden installation program. You can download a copy of the year-end report as a Word document or PDF file.

Winners will receive a link via email to the 10-question online form in May 2024. Year-end reporting requirements include: 

  • 5-10 digital images of the garden
  • Photo release forms to accompany pictures of youth and adults
  • A narrative about the impact of the garden program

If you do not feel you will comply with these reporting requirements, please do not apply. 

Garden Installation Application Technical Support

If you have any questions, please contact KidsGardening Program Director Sarah Lane at [email protected].

About the Grant Sponsor

McCain Foods is the world's largest manufacturer of frozen potato products and supplies french fries, potato specialties, appetizers, and desserts to retail and foodservice customers around the globe. McCain is the international leader in the frozen food industry, employing over 21,000 people and operating 52 production facilities on six continents. McCain Foods USA Inc., headquartered in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois, employs 4,000 people and operates production facilities in Idaho, Maine, Nebraska, Washington, and Wisconsin. With 3,500 farmer partners around the world, and nearly all of our facilities located in rural areas, McCain’s often the largest employer and an integral part of many communities. They are proud of the role they play in helping to create sustainable livelihoods for farmers and their families and contribute to an inclusive local economy, supported by local development programs, donations and volunteering. McCain Foods is committed to contributing to the competitiveness and resilience of our communities, now and for generations to come.

The McCain logo, which is white script on a black background and a yellow outline.

Quick Details

Wisconsin-based youth garden programs in Plover/Wisconsin Rapids or Appleton are eligible to apply. 

Due date: June 16, 2023

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