A USA-based grant program to inspire our youngest citizens to value the environment and protect their local ecosystems.
In an effort to advance their botanical mission, the Klorane Botanical Foundation has partnered with national non-profit KidsGardening.org leader in the school gardening movement for over 35 years. To date between 2018-2019, 12 Budding Botanist grant packages valued at $3,000 each have been awarded to school educators within low-income schools to provide much-needed resources for creating gardens with their students.
The 2019 Budding Botanist ceremonies will take place April through May 2019.
The winning schools have plans to create new or expand existing gardens.
- Knoxville, TN: Spring Hill Elementary School
- Los Banos, CA: R.M. Miano Elementary School
- Albuquerque, NM: Inez Elementary School
- Queens, NY: The Renaissance Charter School
- Bridgeport, CT: Waltersville School
- Redford, MI: Thurston High School
Provide opportunities for hands-on learning, inquiry, observation and experimentation across the curriculum.
Motivate kids to eat and love fruits and vegetables - an effective way to promote life-long healthy eating habits.
Promote physical activity and quality outdoor experiences by connecting students to the natural world.
Teach kids about where their food comes from and to think critically about local and regional food systems.
ACADEMY FOR GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP
The Academy for Global Citizenship is a Chicago Public Charter School located on the city’s industrial and undeveloped Southwest side. Sustainability Coordinator Marney Coleman shares “With food and farming as a central teaching tool, students learn the power of their daily choices to improve their own wellbeing as well as the health of their communities and the earth. Students graduate with a strong understanding of natural systems and a responsibility towards their communities and the planet.” Students in K-8th grade participate in inquiry-based activities integrated into each grade level’s core curriculum that are also designed to address students’ social and emotional needs. Educators foster environmental stewardship by teaching about topics such as native plants, pollinators and through the use of sustainable gardening techniques such as drip irrigation. The Academy also incorporates garden harvest into their cafeteria and offers a student-run mobile farmers’ market to bring locally grown, organic produce to their whole community.
P53K – DISTRICT 75
P53K is a special needs New York City public school program serving K-12th grade students in Brooklyn. Principal Heather Leykam shares, "Many of our students are kinesthetic learners and as such P53K envisions cultivating a sensory garden that accommodates their different learning styles.” She believes their new garden "will afford our students the best opportunity for successful teaching and learning about their environment and the impact it has on all aspects of their day to day living. ” They will use the funds from the Budding Botanist grant to create a fully accessible garden space for students of all abilities to learn from and enjoy. They plan to integrate garden activities into an "adaptive science curriculum that results in sustainable gardening becoming an integral part of our everyday learning environment and school culture."
LOS ANGELES, CA
ROSEMEAD HIGH SCHOOL
Rosemead High School’s urban campus in one of the most densely populated areas in LA. Teacher Joseph Vasquez shares that "integrating classroom learning with ‘real world’ gardening projects motivates high-risk students to stay in school and persist to graduation. Garden projects rally more students to care about the environment and take action." Their newest project to be supported by the Budding Botanist grant is their “Wisdom of Weeds” garden. The goal of the project is to challenge existing thoughts about plants that are traditionally thought of as "weeds" and urge students to investigate the horticultural and ecological purpose of all the plants that appear in their garden such as their role in soil health and as a food source for pollinators. Mr. Vasquez hopes the project will teach students the value of critical analysis and expand their knowledge of complex environmental systems.
GARFIELD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Garfield Elementary School’s garden program is as diverse as their student population. From school day lessons taught by Food Corps volunteers to a special student-led business that sells healthy snacks and natural beauty products, students learn about science, nutrition and socio-environmental justice through the garden program. Teacher Abdul-Haqq Khalifah’s goals are to make sure students are “active participants in their food choices” and also aware of “their impact on the world.” Through the Budding Botanist grant, they will rejuvenate their existing garden beds and also add worm composting bins and rain barrels to expand the use of sustainable horticultural practices.
KANSAS CITY, MO
CITIZENS OF THE WORLD CHARTER SCHOOL
"Our students have begun their journeys as being conscious consumers," says Sara Murphy, Citizens of the World Charter School Parent and Special Education Process Coordinator. "We emphasize the importance of respecting the body and its connection to the environment, this means guiding students to consider not only what they eat and put into their bodies but also what they do, how they treat others and the world around them." The school is going to use the grant funding to install a native plant pollinator garden in the front of their building that will serve as an education tool for their students and a model for the community. They also plan to build a Monarch Waystation garden on their playground and purchase worm compost stations to teach students the value of adopting sustainable practices.
EAGLE ACADEMY PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOL
The launch of the new school garden program is a key component of an overall Environmental Literacy Plan. STEAM Integration Specialist Karen Brooks-Bauer of Eagle Academy Public Charter School explains, "We have three big goals: living and learning sustainability, appreciating our natural environment near and far, and understanding where our food comes from." In addition to starting a school-wide recycling and composting program, they will focus on teaching about how strong local food systems are an important part of healthy and sustainable living. Karen shares, "all of our students will engage in inquiry-based explorations using technology involving the planning and planting of the garden and as well as the design and implementation of a school-wide recycling campaign. This will help prepare them to take on real-world challenges that they will face in the future."
For 35 years, KidsGardening has led the school gardening movement. They create opportunities for kids to learn through gardening, engaging their natural curiosity and wonder by providing inspiration, community know-how and resources. As a national nonprofit, they are improving nutritional attitudes, educational outcomes, social emotional learning, and environmental stewardship in youth across the country. Beginning with 50 youth garden grants in 1982, KidsGardening has benefited an estimated 1.5 million children and contributed close to $4.4 million dollars in funding to youth gardening initiatives across the U.S.