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, a leader in the school gardening movement for over 37 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.
2019 Grant Winners
Meet the Winning Schools
The Budding Botanist Grant winners have plans to create new or expand existing gardens.
Los Banos, CA
R.M. MIANO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
To support R.M Miano’s steadfast dedication for garden-based learning, the school was rewarded with the Budding Botanist grant to fund a new carnivorous garden named ‘The Gateway Program – A Beautiful Place to Learn’. According to 6th grade teacher & program coordinator Sergio de Alba, “The gardens have become engaging opportunities that change their outlook in life as well as what they feel their future holds. Our students learn to become stewards of the land that they work and the forthcoming community leaders, scientist, and farmers that will ensure that our environment and land is respected.”
"The Grant is being used to support the creation of a Monarch Butterfly Corridor and expand the school’s current garden program. The students were inspired by a hands-on learning activity exploring the impact of humans on their local ecosystem and wanted to help pollinators by creating a garden with native plants. Waltersville’s Science Teacher John Cunningham says, "We will be teaching the students how to be citizen scientists with this new garden project and showing how our actions can help pollinators in our dense, urban environment.” Cunningham also adds that the students will be starting milkweed plants at home to further engage them and create additional habitat for monarchs and pollinators in our dense, urban environment.
SPRING HILL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
The Grant will help create a certified wildlife habitat featuring entirely native species: sixteen trees, shrubs, and flowering plants. With the help of a local wildlife habitat program, the garden will not only educate the children, but will promote plant and animal biodiversity, as well as serve as a rich platform for community engagement. The garden will also aid as a haven for up to 169 species of birds, moths, butterflies, and caterpillars. Spring Hill Elementary School STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Lab Teacher Amanda Callahan-Mims says, “The abundance of fruiting and flowering trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants provide nectar, pollen, fruit, and seeds for animals and insects over the seasons as our indigenous flora allows.”
INEZ ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
According to parent volunteer Rebecca Brinkerhoff, the Grant will help “foster a love and appreciation for our high desert environment, and design a landscape plan to demonstrate xeriscape principles, including water retention practices and erosion management. We will use native plants along with traditional regional building techniques such as adobe and rammed earth berms,” continued Brinkerhoff. “Teaching sustainability and an appreciation for the bounty possible when respect for our environment and traditional and pueblo community knowledge are used is what this program is all about.”
THE RENAISSANCE CHARTER SCHOOL
The school is utilizing the Grant to help expand their year-round garden to help increase the amount of fruits and vegetables they are able to produce. Their garden is used as part of an agriculture-based curriculum for high school students, a student-driven permaculture leadership program, and for food education classes. The school’s Development Associate Peggy Heeney says, “If we teach children all the benefit of buying and eating locally sourced food because it’s healthier, it is better for the environment as there is less transportation involved.”
THURSTON HIGH SCHOOL
With the Grant the school will create a new rain garden which will combat water runoff from roads, buildings and parking lots, increase biodiversity and watershed health, while also combating invasive species. Their new garden will be a hands-on learning lab for high school students and an opportunity for school district elementary and middle schools’ classes can visit to learn and explore. According to Thurston High School student Sara Borsodi, "There will be so much exploring and learning in our new rain garden and with it the opportunity to apply classroom skills to real life." "We can take this critical thinking and apply it to our rain garden by deciding what plant species we need to plant in order to attract certain insects, birds, and small mammals that increase biodiversity, sustainability and improve our watershed."
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.
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.
Discover the 2018 grant winners
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."
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."
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."
GARFIELD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
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."
Los Angeles, CA
ROSEMEAD HIGH SCHOOL
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." 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.