Look what we've already grown! The seeds have been sown for 2019 and now we must patiently wait to see what germinates from our next crop of Whole Kids Foundation Garden Grants. While those projects take root, we take a moment to pause, look back, and celebrate some of the schools, kids and gardens that we’ve supported thus far.

The Whole Kids Foundation School Garden Grant program provides grants to K-12 schools to support edible gardens on school grounds. Nonprofit recipients supporting children’s programming are funded to place gardens in non-school environments such as community gardens, libraries, museums or after-school programs.

In just the past few years, thousands of students have benefited from projects large and small funded by these garden grants — from Garfield Elementary in San Leandro, California, where kids built a do-it-yourself “worm bin” (a.k.a. vermicomposter) to Eastdale Collegiate Institute in Toronto, Canada, where a large rooftop garden supports vocational skills and food service training for young adults.

Large-scale garden projects all over the country promote teamwork, inspire budding leaders, and encourage creative thinkers to flex their problem-solving skills. At Roosevelt High School in San Antonio, Texas, students played the roles of architects, landscape designers and master gardeners to build their own garden program from the ground up. Meanwhile, at Thomas Jefferson High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, students designed their own indoor hydroponics system and began raising fish to expand into aquaponics.

When West Woodland Elementary School in Seattle, Washington, lost much of its garden real estate to a campus construction project, they cleverly shifted to using metal horse troughs, which they transformed into moveable hugelkutur beds, no-dig, hill-like raised beds

Kids are connecting with the natural environment and learning how to grow their own food, even in the face of weather challenges. Leupp Public School in Arizona makes the most of sporadic, dramatic downpours with a high-capacity water collection system. Students at Linton Springs Elementary School in Sykesville, Maryland, built innovative solar beds to extend the growing season during cool months.

Grant funds also have helped to bring academic and life lessons to life in garden spaces. Mitchell Math and Science Academy in Charleston, South Carolina, integrated a robust garden program into math and science lessons, and established a successful garden-to-cafeteria program serving students vegetables, fruits and herbs. The Carter School in Boston designed a fully accessible garden with outdoor sensory experiences for students with disabilities. And The Gardner School of Arts & Sciences in Vancouver, Washington, created media buzz with the installation of an observation beehive that teaches young kids the critical role of bees in our environment.

Whole Kids Foundation has proudly helped to seed, grow and sustain thousands of projects like these. Visit our website to read more garden grant success stories. We share these inspiring stories with hope that the school gardening “bug” will continue to spread faster than a pollinator in springtime.

We also offer a free Starting With Soil interactive tablet app and our Kids Club highlights cooking activities, recycled crafts, recipe ideas and book recommendations for families to enjoy at home.