Congratulations to the 2023 Budding Botanist Grant Winners!
The Budding Botanist Grant, presented by Klorane Botanical Foundation and KidsGardening, is designed to support programs that teach respect for the environment and protect nature through the preservation of plant species and biodiversity.
In 2023, the following twenty programs will be awarded a check for $1,000 to support the development of youth gardens that help studentss learn about plants, explore their world, and inspire them to take care of their local ecosystems.
Bates Elementary School (Salem, MA)
At Bates Elementary School, students will learn about Salem’s unique climate and ecosystem, including wildlife, native plants, and pollinators through their existing school garden. Students will build bird houses and bat boxes and learn more about the robins, goldfinches, chipmunks, groundhogs, squirrels, toads, salamanders, rabbits, dragonflies, owls, butterflies, and bees that visit the schoolyard.
Bell Elementary School (Stilwell, OK)
With 98% of the student population at Bell Elementary School identifying as Native American, the school will start a new school garden that will grow native crops that are Pre-European and Pre-Colonial. Students will learn how to grow corn, squash, beans, and other crops from start to finish and will save seeds during the harvest.
Central Middle School (Park Hills, MO)
The students at Central Middle School will learn about biodiversity through a project-based learning unit focused on the environmental needs of their community culminating in a student-designed solution to address one of the community needs they uncover. These may be PSA-type campaigns, water retention designs, bank stabilization projects, conducting a Bee Atlas survey, creating pollinator and wildlife habitats, or monitoring a nearby stream.
Clark County School District (North Las Vegas, NV)
At Lucile Bruner Elementary School in Clark County School District, students will use their school garden to learn about Monarch butterflies. The school will plant multiple varieties of Milkweed to create a habitat for Western Monarch Butterflies. The school will designate its garden as a Monarch Waystation, refresh a worm bed, and start a citizen science data collection opportunity for youth.
Coconut Creek Elementary School (Coconut Creek, FL)
The school garden at Coconut Creek Elementary School will teach students about pollination. Students will begin to understand the parts of a plant, the reproduction process, and how that ties into food-crop production. They will learn how bees, butterflies, birds, moths, bats, and other insects pollinate the plants in the local ecosystem. Students will also study biomes around the world to learn about the importance of biodiversity and life on our earth.
Douglas Elementary-Tyler ISD (Tyler, TX)
At Douglas Elementary in Tyler Independent School District, students will learn about biodiversity and environmental sustainability by growing plants hydroponically and in indoor container gardens. Students will compare and contrast the growing mediums and learn about the importance of agriculture.
Dundalk Elementary School (Dundalk, MD)
The Dundalk Elementary School Garden will establish a green space that allows students to interact and explore their local ecosystems. Students will learn about the conservation of the endangered monarch butterfly, create an edible garden, learn about decomposition, identify the components of soil composition, understand the life cycle of a plant, gain knowledge of the local ecosystems, identify organisms found in the local ecosystems, understand the energy transfers in an ecosystem, and learn about plant propagation.
Escuela Micael (Aguadilla, PR)
Escuela Micael will install a rainwater catchment cistern in their school garden to teach students about environmental sustainability. The nutrient-dense rainwater will be used to grow a variety of different plants. Additionally, the school will invite guest speakers from the island of Puerto Rico to share about biodiversity and environmental sustainability. Students will learn how to create a thriving garden space.
Forest Grove School District (Cornelius, OR)
At the Echo Shaw Elementary School Garden in Forest Grove School District, students will learn Mezo American farming practices as a way to understand sustainability. By learning the heritage and culture, the students can see themselves in the garden space. The garden will teach them about the connection between our food and the environment.
Hancock Creek Elementary (North Fort Myers, FL)
Students at Hancock Creek Elementary will improve their garden space to include a habitat for pollinators. With the new pollinator space, students will learn about food, shelter, lifecycles, native Florida plants, collecting seeds, and the metamorphosis of butterflies. They will also collect data to compare the diversity of insects living in the garden vs. on a mowed lawn.
Hawlemont Regional School (Charlemont, MA)
The Hawlemont, Agriculture, and You (HAY) program will create a new garden space to grow food that students can plant, tend, harvest, cook, and eat throughout the school year. The school will grow an array of microgreens and other small, fast-growing crops so that students can learn how to grow food indoors throughout the whole year. At the end of the year, students will build miniature gardens out of repurposed materials to grow their own microgreen gardens in their windows at home.
Jose Marti MAST 6-12 Academy (Hialeah, FL)
The Green Club at José Martí MAST seeks to empower students by increasing environmental awareness. Students will become familiar with beneficial native plants as well as invasive, detrimental non-native plants. The school will collaborate with local conservation partners to germinate seeds and cultivate native plants, especially those in the rare and endangered pine Rockland ecosystems. They aim to expand their work to include native species from wetland ecosystems to broaden the scope of their students’ knowledge and work.
M. Agnes Jones Elementary (Atlanta, GA)
Through traditional and aquaponics gardening, students at M. Agnes Jones Elementary will learn about soil quality, beneficial organisms, ecosystems, lifecycles, and being caretakers of the environment. The school will redesign a part of its school garden to include Georgia native plants to support pollinators and create a habitat for their resident turtles.
Milwaukee Sign Language School (Milwaukee, WI)
The mission of Milwaukee Sign Language School’s garden is to teach students about the importance of gardening and how to create sustainable habitats for plants and animals. Students will use the garden as an outdoor laboratory to learn about biodiversity by studying birds, small mammals, butterflies, and other insects that use the garden as their home and how the garden will impact the greater ecosystem around the school.
Multnomah Education Service District (Gresham, OR)
The school garden at Multnomah Education Service District teaches youth with disabilities about permaculture agricultural education, engages students in sensory-based garden therapy, and provides a habitat for native wildlife. To learn about environmental sustainability, the students will plant a food forest filled with canopy trees, fruit trees, fruiting shrubs, nitrogen-fixing/wildlife-attracting herbaceous perennials, herbs, fruiting groundcovers, root vegetables, and fruiting vines.
Orlo Avenue Elementary School (East Providence, RI)
A goal for the students at Orlo Avenue Elementary School is to understand the impact humans have on the decline of the Monarch population and brainstorm ways to help combat this issue. The school will collaborate with the high school to improve its garden space. Students will plant pollinator-attracting plants like sunflowers, milkweed, butterfly bushes, black-eyed Susans, asters, dill, coneflowers, goldenrod, and vegetables and herbs such as green beans, collards, peas, peppers, pumpkins, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, rosemary, parsley, and mint.
P.S.135 (Brooklyn, NY)
At P.S. 135, students will compare and contrast the benefits of conventional farming and hydroponic farming to learn about environmental sustainability. Through the lessons, the students will explore water resource management, efficient land use, climate change, conservation, contamination, pollution, waste management, and sustainable development.
Sutro Elementary School (San Francisco, CA)
At Sutro Elementary School, students will expand the school garden to create more space for growing plants. The school will use Climate Corp Education Outside’s curriculum to teach about environmental sustainability and biodiversity. Students will learn about plant life cycles, climate change, indigenous land practices, decomposition, native plants, and adaptations.
Thornwood High School, District 205 (South Holland, IL)
The school garden at Thornwood High School teaches students about food deserts and how local gardening can be a partial solution. To improve their garden space, the school will create a pollinator garden section. Students will perform inquiry activities regarding pollinator visitation, pollinator syndromes, and the effectiveness of human actions that support pollinators (e.g. hummingbird feeders, nesting sites, native flora, bee hotels, etc.)
Washington Global Public Charter School (Washington, DC)
At Washington Global Public Charter School, students will research, plan, and plant a garden that attracts butterflies to the school. Through interactive learning in the butterfly garden, students will have a deeper appreciation of the biological cycle of life and the importance of environmental sustainability. Additionally, through their research and planning, students will study various species of butterflies and plants, gaining a deeper understanding of biodiversity. This long-term project will allow students time to study butterfly species, engage in a service-learning project, and create greenspace on their school grounds.