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Friday, February 8, 2019

February 2019 Michigan School Garden newsletter


February 2019



Southeast Michigan School Garden Mini-grant

By Kaitlin Wojciak


We are pleased to announce a new garden grant opportunity for school and early care and education sites:

Southeast Michigan School Garden Mini-grant is now accepting applications!


The Southeast Michigan School Garden Mini-grant program is now accepting applications for the 2019 grant year. With funding from the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, Michigan State University Extension will award approximately 20 grants for schools or early care and education sites that are planning or implementing school garden programming. Grant awards will range from $500 - $1,500. In addition to funding, grantees will receive technical assistance, training and connection to a network of peers. The grant year is from April 8th, 2019 – April 7th, 2020.


The Southeast Michigan School Garden Mini-grant program offers planning and implementation grants to schools or early care and education (ECE) sites located in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties. The application must be submitted by an employee of the school or ECE site affiliated with the garden.


Note: For schools located in Detroit, we are partnering with local organizations which currently provide support to school gardens, including the Detroit Public School Community District's Office of Nutrition, and Keep Growing Detroit to avoid duplicative efforts and maximize resources available to schools. We encourage schools to connect with these organizations (links below) and consider the resources offered before applying for this grant. We hope this grant will offer opportunities to complement these resources and contribute to sustainability of the network of resources available in the City.


    Detroit Public School Community District's Office of Nutrition

    Keep Growing Detroit


Planning grants help schools and early care and education sites that are in the beginning phases of creating a school garden. Planning grantees will create a school garden action plan and form a school garden team by the end of the grant period.


Implementation grants help schools and ECE sites that are ready to establish a school garden or will expand their school garden program. Expansion can include expanding the physical garden, curriculum implemented, students reached or other program additions. Having a school garden team is a prerequisite to apply for an implementation grant. Implementation grantees will create a school garden sustainability plan to maintain the garden and activities beyond the grant period.


Please visit the Southeast Michigan School Garden Mini-grant page for more details regarding the grant program, eligibility, and requirements at:


Applications are due on Monday, February 25th at 5pm.


School gardens leaders require resources

School gardens leaders require resources to get started and to enhance a school garden.

by Beth Clawson, Michigan State University Extension

Whether your school is just getting started planning your school garden or have had a school garden many years there is always a need for resources. Taking the time to navigate your way about the internet or send for seed catalogs can be frustrating and time consuming. In a previous article, "School garden programs and starting a school garden takes planning," five steps for a successful school garden program are outlined. Having a school garden is one step to becoming a designated Michigan's Green School.

Step one was to form a committee. Committees are your number one resource. The collective knowledge and people power can really make the task of gathering additional resources that much easier through the division of tasks.  Below is a topic list of the kinds of resources that might be important to your school garden plan. Your first place for general gardening information would be your county Michigan State University Extension office, the MSU Extension website and the MSU Extension Gardening in Michigan website.

One of the best ways to get started is to look at what other schools have done.  Talk to the garden leaders at schools near you that have gardens or join an organization with the same or similar goals. This website is an organization with a single goal: Edible School yards.  A good general getting started guide is available from UC Davis Extension called Children's Gardens: A Resource Guide for Teachers, Parents and Volunteers. A more modern guide is the School Resource Guidebook at the Garden Project of Southwest Colorado.

  • Grants and funding: where to get funding and applying for it is another area that requires time.  Most of these sources are not overly heavy on requirements but they all require applying or writing up a request.  A couple of generic clearing houses that list multiple grant offerings for school garden related projects that may prove useful are Garden ABCs and K-12 School Grants.
  • State standards and curriculum: all gardens offer outdoor classroom opportunities – Education Outside offers more information.


Gardens don't have to be expensive. With some ingenuity, imagination, a bit of elbow grease and determination, you can have very productive and rewarding gardening experiences. For more gardening information visit the Gardening in Michigan website at Michigan State University Extension.



School Garden Grant Information

Southeast Michigan School Garden Mini-Grant



  • American Honda Foundation - Due dates three times per year
    • Schools, nonprofits classified as 501(c) (3) s and private or public schools (elementary and secondary) are eligible.
    • Award range: $20,000 - $75,000 for one year
  • Captain Planet Foundation
    • Schools, nonprofits and other organizations classified as 501(c) (3) are eligible
    • Projects must: be project-based; performed by youth; have real environmental outcomes; be based in the United States.
    • Award range is between $500 - $2500. At least 50% matching or in-kind funding for projects is preferred.
  • Cartons 2 Gardens ContestRegistration open, final submissions due March 29th, 2019
    • K-12 public and private schools are eligible to participate
    • Participants start by collecting at least 100 empty cartons from home, community or cafeteria. Projects will construct purposeful garden items and structures using the cartons.
    • 15 projects will receive award packages for their entries, including one grand prize valued at $5,000
    • Register and learn more at this link
  • Gro More Grassroots GrantsDue on February 15th, 2019 at 11:59 PST
    • Nonprofit and tax exempt organizations (including schools) are eligible
    • Awards provide funding for the development of new and expansion of existing youth garden programs and greenspaces.
    • Grant recipients will either receive $500 or $1000 to support their initiatives
    • Learn more and apply here.
  • The Home Depot FoundationCommunity Impact Grants currently open
    • Schools and 501(c) (3) organizations are eligible.
    • Awards are up to $5,000
    • The Home Depot also has opportunities to match donations from local stores with nonprofits. Follow this link for more information on how to request a match. 
  • Katie's Krops Grower Grant ­– applications due by December 31st
    • Youth ages 9-16 are eligible to apply
    • Winners will receive a gift card to start a garden, technical assistance, garden supplies, and more
    • Winners are also eligible to win scholarships for higher education
    • All produce grown must be donated to community members in need
    • Learn more and apply here
  • Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation
    • Public schools are eligible
    • Awards from $5,000 - $25,000
    • Visit this link to answer preliminary questions and learn more.
  • Salad Bars to School Grant
    • Any district or independent school participating in the National School Lunch Program is eligible to apply. To qualify for a Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools grant, applicants must offer the salad bar as part of the reimbursable meal served in your district.
    • Schools use the award (approximately $3,147 value) to implement salad bars as part of their daily meal program
    • For more information and to apply, follow this link.
    • The top five program awards will be a grant package worth $2,100. An additional 20 grant packages worth $500 will be awarded.
    • Learn more and apply here
  • Youth Micro-grants through Karma for Cara FoundationRolling deadline
    • Youth under age 18 who are working on a community service project (including school and community gardens).
    • Awards are between $250 - $1,000.

School Garden Educational Opportunities

  1. Starting and Sustaining a School Garden at Tollgate in Novi, MI

MSU Extension's Annual School Garden Conference May 10, 2019

Online registration is available at:

          Keynote Speaker:  Hanifa Adjuman, Education and Outreach Director, Detroit Black Community Food Security Network


  1. MOFFA (Michigan Organic Food and Farm Alliance) Educational Opportunities
  • North American Association of Environmental Educators Professional Development






Kristine Hahn

Michigan State University Extension Educator

Community Food Systems

Oakland County Office

1200 Telegraph Rd. #26E

Pontiac, MI 48341


*Please note my new office location

MSU is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer.  Michigan State University programs and materials are open to all without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status or veteran status.

"Always be humble and kind." - Tim McGraw


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