Klorane Botanical Foundation and KidsGardening are excited to announce the winners of the 2019 Budding Botanist grant program. Designed to support garden programs focused on teaching students about sustainability and biodiversity, these amazing schools have plans to create new or expand existing gardens to provide their young gardeners with the chance to explore their world through real-life, hands-on experiences. The ultimate goal of the Budding Botanist program is to inspire our youngest citizens to value the environment and protect their local ecosystems. Congratulations to the winning schools!
Inez Elementary School (Albuquerque, New Mexico): Desert Garden and Grassland
Inez Elementary School is excited to introduce a garden to their school landscape that will meld regional traditional building techniques with xeriscaping principles to promote water retention, erosion management, and native plant species. The school will directly connect these three project areas to various academic goals, including a STEM-based curriculum that teaches students how to use sustainable gardening techniques and to respect their local environment, and to initiatives related to celebrating the pueblo community and culture.
Thurston High School (Redford, Michigan): Rain Garden
Thurston High School’s AP Environmental Science class will spearhead the installation of a rain garden aimed at increasing biodiversity and watershed health, while also combating invasive species. Not only will their garden serve as a hands-on learning lab for high school students, but as a space where elementary and middle schools classes within the school district can come to learn and explore.
Spring Hill Elementary School (Knoxville, Tennessee): Certified Wildlife Habitat
Spring Hill Elementary School will be creating a certified wildlife habitat featuring entirely native species. With the help of a local Wildlife Habitat Program the space will not only promote plant and animal biodiversity, but serve as a rich platform for community engagement.
M. Miano Elementary School (Los Banos, California ): The Gateway Project
R.M. Miano is planning to create a new carnivorous plant garden site that will expand on their extensive existing gardens spaces, each of which highlights a different ecosystem and biome. These gardens serve not only a setting for classroom exploration and learning, but an environment in which elementary and middle school students can engage in meaningful peer to peer mentoring.
The Renaissance Charter School (Jackson Heights, New York -- Queens): Renaissance Rooftop Garden
The Renaissance Charter school will be installing new garden beds, planters and a vertical garden system that will augment their rooftop growing space. This year-round program that is used as part of an agriculture-based curriculum for high school students, a student-driven Permaculture leadership program, and for food education classes is supported by multiple local community partnerships.
Waltersville School (Bridgeport, Connecticut): Waltersville School Garden
Waltersville School seeks to build upon their existing garden program by installing an pollinator habitat area. Their proposed Monarch Butterfly corridor will be integrated into the school’s Project-Based Learning module and will serve as a springboard for student-led ecological stewardship within the wider community.
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