2021 GroMoreGood Grassroots Grant Winners
Earlier this month KidsGardening and the Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation announced the winners of the 2021 GroMoreGood Grassroots Grant. 175 school and nonprofit organizations across the United States were awarded funding to create or enhance their youth garden programs, which serve more than 90,000 children. From pollinator gardens to outdoor play spaces, edible gardens to therapeutic greenspaces, the Grassroots Grants fund all types of community-driven projects that engage youth.
“The challenges facing millions of Americans right now are devastating and the impact has been especially hard for our children,” said Jim King, President of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation. “We’re gardeners. And we’ve seen the incredible benefits that happen when kids connect to gardening, fresh food and time outdoors. That's why we’re so committed to bringing these moments to more children right now.”
Emily Shipman, Executive Director at KidsGardening, said, "Partnering with The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation on the GroMoreGood Grassroots Grant has created opportunities for nearly 100,000 kids to play, learn, and grow in a garden this year alone. KidsGardening and Scotts are long-time partners. In the three years we've worked together to GroMoreGood, we've awarded youth garden programs in all 50 states and Washington, DC."
Here are some snapshots from five of this year’s winning programs:
Cincinnati Urban Promise, Cincinnati, Ohio
Cincinnati Urban Promise is working to transform seven vacant plots in an impoverished neighborhood into four community gardens, a playground, and two children's learning gardens. Redeveloping the lots will transform deteriorating, overgrown areas into spaces that provide nutrition, education, physical and mental well-being, and beauty in the community. The gardens will provide much needed access to nutritious food, educational enrichment for neighborhood youth, many who are performing well below grade-level standards, along with opportunities for outdoor exercise and play.
Bootheel Youth Museum Straw Bale Alternative Garden , Malden, MO
Partnering with a local high school and university, Bootheel Youth Museum will install a straw bale demonstration and community garden on their property that will not only grow food for their community, but will also inspire families to consider starting their own alternative gardens at home. The garden will include 100 straw bale gardens, trash bag potato plantings, 5-gallon bucket container gardens for growing tomatoes, and microgreen window gardens. The museum staff also performs free gardening programming in schools along with summer programs.
AfriThrive Inc, Silver Spring, Maryland
AfriThrive is non-profit organization dedicated to increasing access to healthy foods, fostering economic opportunity and mentoring youth. This spring, they will recruit teens from among the African immigrant and minority families they serve to participate in a new gardening program. Each youth will have his/her own plot to cultivate, plant, and nurture. The gardens will focus on growing culturally appropriate vegetables and fruits and provide food for more than 300 families in their community.
First Steps Child Development Center, Oak Ridge, TN
The preschool students at First Step Child Development Center will combine gardening and fun on their expanded natural playscape. A-frame trellis structures reaching out from raised bed gardens will grow produce for student meals and a free weekly community meal program while also creating a shaded space for children to play. Students will learn how food is grown, enjoy the fruits of their labors, and also have the opportunity to contribute meaningfully to their community.
PS 151 K Lyndon B Johnson, New York, NY
By engaging in full-cycle gardening, students at PS 151 K gain important life skills as they discover how to grow their own food and prepare their harvest. The garden lessons will be fully integrated into the school’s academic curriculum and bring it to life. The PS 151K school garden is intended to be a space for healing and reflection, as well as education and exploration. With the grant funding, the school will add a new sensory garden specifically for their youngest students along with a pollinator garden for all to enjoy. (Students from PS 151 are pictured above.)
Read the full list of the 2021 GroMoreGood Grassroots Grant winners.
For more information on The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation’s GroMoreGood™ initiative, visit www.GroMoreGood.org.