2020 Youth Garden Grant Winners
Since 1982, KidsGardening has worked with generous horticulture industry sponsors to offer the Youth Garden Grant, providing financial support and product donations for new and expanding youth garden programs. Through the years, this grant program has reached school and community gardens of all shapes and sizes throughout the United States. We often hear that not only does the Youth Garden Grant provide direct resources to the awarded gardens, but often it also helps coalesce local support and build program momentum. Since the grant began, we have awarded 5,531 Youth Garden Grants worth close to $3 million.
After a very competitive selection process, we are honored to share with you our 2020 Youth Garden Grant recipients. Here are some stories from a few of this year’s winners:
Desert Star Community School’s Oasis Garden — Cornville, AZ
The Oasis Garden is a brand new garden program situated on a K- 8th grade school in Arizona’s high desert. The garden will not only be an important part of the children’s education but will also be an inspiring green space. The Oasis Garden will incorporate permaculture, biodynamic and Native American techniques for ecological sustainability. In addition to annual vegetable and flower gardening, it will also showcase hardy perennial crops such as fruit trees, artichokes, and berry bushes. All plants will be specially chosen to suit the school’s arid environment. The garden will be a demonstration site for students and the community to teach about the viability of ecologically sustainable desert food production.
St. Clair Superior Teen Center Garden — Cleveland, OH
The St. Clair Superior Teen Center Garden provides at-risk youth with the opportunity to learn how to cultivate fresh-grown vegetables in a very urban environment. The goals of the program include teaching life skills such as food production and healthy meal planning, introducing STEM concepts and providing skills that may be used for future career development, and creating teen leadership opportunities for young people who have hopes of improving their inner-city community. During the summer participants benefit from working a part-time job on the Garden2Kitchen team. Continuing into the school year, youth can participate in after school gardening and cooking classes. A highlight of the year is an annual cook-off amongst the youth gardeners giving them the opportunity to highlight the fresh produce they have grown and get excited about the local food movement. In addition to practical skills, the garden provides participants the joy of feeling ownership in a beautiful green space in their community.
Cheyenne River Youth Project’s Winyan Toka Win Learning Garden — Eagle Butte, SD
The Cheyenne River Youth Project was founded in 1988 to create a safe space for the youth of the Cheyenne River reservation where they know fun activities and a warm meal are available. The 2.5 acre Winyan Toka Win (Leading Lady) organic garden and farmers market are an integral part of the programming. Through the garden, participants learn about food sovereignty, healthy diets and have the opportunity to make a positive contribution to their community. The garden harvest is used to provide healthy snacks and meals for other youth programs, given to families and also used at the youth center’s Keya Café and Coffee shop.
Greens4Teens Youth Horticulture Program — Houston, TX
Greens4Teens is a joint project of the Harris County Juvenile Probation Department and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service that implements horticulture programs at juvenile justice facilities in the Houston area. The goal of the program is to engage at risk youth ages 13 to 17 years old in gardening programs as a way to encourage positive change and growth in their personal lives, foster a stronger connection to their community and also help them identify available resources. The hope is that through their experiences, they will build self-confidence, a strong work ethic, and make a connection to the natural environment. Participants will gain practical knowledge and skills that can increase access to healthy foods and provide future career opportunities.
World Relief Seattle’s Paradise Parking Plots Community Garden — Kent, WA
Paradise Parking Plots Community Garden is an organic garden in the middle of a food desert where refugees and immigrants grow produce from their cultures, build community, and participate in environmental stewardship and justice. Close to refugee-majority apartment complexes and low-income schools, the garden features 50 garden plots and was built on an under-utilized parking lot after the pavement was removed. In addition to the growing space, the garden also serves as an inspiring outdoor classroom where children from the community learn all about food systems, pollinator pathways, watersheds and many other exciting topics through hands-on learning. The garden partners with local schools to offer educational experiences on-site that engage refugee youth in caring for their environment, break out of the constraints of food deserts, increase their nutrition and nutritional knowledge, and honor the role that culture plays in food and nutrition. It provides a critical space for kids to be able to explore and enjoy the outdoors in an urban area where open greenspace is in short supply.
Additional 2020 Youth Garden Grant Winners include:
- Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust’s Fremont Wellness Center and Community Garden — Los Angeles, CA
- Flying Pig Farm — Manitou Springs, CO
- Early Learning Center — Frankford, DE
- Lavonia Elementary School Betty Vandiver Butterfly Garden — Lavonia, GA
- Delray Beach Children’s Garden — Delray Beach, FL
- Plant Chicago Youth Garden — Chicago, IL
- Garrett-Keyser-Butler Community Head Start and Early Head Start — Garrett, IN
- Maurice J. Tobin K-8 School — Boston, MA
- Amanda C. Rowe Elementary School — Portland, ME
- Growing Roots — Grand Rapids, MI
- Watauga County Public Library — Boone, NC
- Our Lady Star of the Sea Regional School Community Garden — Atlantic City, NJ
- Wilson Middle School — Albuquerque, NM
- Eldorado Elementary School — Spring Valley, NY
- Rupert Elementary School — Pottstown, PA
- Berwind Middle School — San Juan, Puerto Rico
- Matthew Whaley Elementary School — Williamsburg, VA
- Camp Korey Garden Program — Mount Vernon, WA
- Goodman Community Center’s TEENworks/Seed to Table Transition Academy — Madison, WI
- Arnoldsburg Elementary School Community Garden — Arnoldsburg, WV
In addition to our amazing winners, KidsGardening would also like to recognize our phenomenal donor base that allows us to make these opportunities available including our Blossom Sponsor Corona and Seed Money Sponsors B.B.Barns, Bluestone Perennials, Fine Gardening, and Meadow Farms. Additionally we want to recognize our generous product donors including Dramm Corporation, Gardener’s Supply Company, GardenFreak, High Mowing Organic Seeds, Javacycle, SmartPots, SunGro, and Watex Green Living.