McCain Foods and KidsGardening Partner to Build Youth Gardens

In support of their Planet Friendly Ambassadors program, McCain Foods partnered with KidsGardening to build two new youth gardens in Wisconsin! Each installation included $5,000 worth of garden installation materials, plants, and tools.

Now, youth at the Boys and Girls Club of Portage County in Plover and Ronald Dunlap Elementary in Appleton can experience the joy and wonder of garden-based learning.

A youth garden transforms 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.

A collage image that says Boys & Girls Club of Portage County. On the left is field of grass labeled "before" and on the right is a garden space labeled "after."

Garden Build in Plover

On Friday, October 20, 2023, at the Boys and Girls Club of Portage County in Plover, Wisconsin, more than 50 volunteers from the Club, McCain, and KidsGardening worked to transform a grassy area into an outdoor learning garden.

Fueled by delicious hashbrowns, the volunteers were ready for action! To coordinate the build, volunteers were split into seven groups, each with a specific focus and a team leader.

Projects included removing existing sod and replacing it with decomposed granite, installing wooden edging around the garden perimeter, constructing five raised beds, staining four picnic tables, putting together one potting table, and digging six holes to create a sun-sail shaded area.

A collage image that reads Ronald Dunlap Elementary at the top. On the left is the front of a school labeled "before" on the right is the same area but with a bunch of raised beds and mulch labeled "after."

Garden Build in Appleton

Then, in Appleton, on Saturday, October 21, 2023, volunteers gathered at Ronald Dunlap Elementary to expand the existing youth garden space started two years ago that is not only an important learning space but also a memorial garden for Ivy, a student who loved plants and being outdoors.

More than 60 volunteers showed up to expand this school garden space. Projects included constructing seven raised beds, staining four picnic tables, building one whiteboard, putting together a storage container, painting a shed, and installing many native plants. More woodchip mulch was added to the new growing areas and the native plant area. A wood edge was installed to complete the space.

Next Steps

Staff are excited to teach in the garden space and create opportunities for hands-on learning, regenerative agriculture, stewardship of the planet, observation of plants and animals, teamwork, and sharing fruits and vegetables.

About KidsGardening

For more than 40 years, KidsGardening has used our experience as youth garden designers and educators to install and improve high-impact, fun, and sustainable youth gardens across the country. To learn more about our garden build services and to read about past garden builds, learn more about our garden installation services.

About McCain Foods

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.