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Chicago Master Gardener

A blog for Chicago Master Gardeners providing information on volunteer opportunities, training, workshops and resources.
Kids Gardening

FYI: Youth Gardening Grants

Posted by Ron Wolford -

Each year, Mantis presents the Mantis Awards for charitable and educational garden projects that enhance the quality of life in their host communities. NGA selects 25 outstanding applicants to receive Mantis tiller/cultivators.

Any nonprofit garden program may apply. In the past, winners have included schools, churches, correctional facilities, parks departments, youth camps, community gardens, and many others. These are groups turning slim resources into bountiful gardens with far-reaching benefits, from increasing their community's access to fresh nutritious foods to educating the public about the importance of gardening in our nation's history.

Mantis Awards: Deadline: March 1, 2009

Hooked on Hydroponics Awards

When children and teens explore how to grow plants hydroponically (without soil), fruitful questions bloom, and these questions can lead to active investigations and problem solving. These studies may even lead to classroom business opportunities or fuel student career interests. Not the least of the benefits is the joy of students harvesting a crop of their own incredible edibles or bounteous blossoms!

The Grow Store and join NGA to offer these grants to expand these exciting learning opportunities for students.

Wondering if a hydroponic unit is right for your classroom? Check out the descriptions of equipment packages, including component specs and classroom activity suggestions:

Elementary School Equipment Packages: 12 grants
Middle School Equipment Packages: 16 grants
High School Equipment Packages: 8 grants

Please also visit our online Exploring Hydroponics guide for examples of topics and lessons you can pursue.

Hooked on Hydroponics Awards: Application will be available February 1, 2009

Healthy Sprouts Awards

Statistics show that in many U.S. classrooms you'll find children who are overweight sitting next to others wondering where their next meal will come from; many are not getting the right balance of nutrients in their diets or enough exercise. Research conducted at Texas A&M University supports the connection between kids' food gardens and improved nutrition. Could a school garden be part of the solution to the diet- and exercise-related challenges children face? Many forward-thinking educators and parents think so, and have worked to create youth garden programs that focus on nutrition and hunger issues.

As a way to encourage the growth of health-focused youth gardens, NGA recognizes outstanding programs via the Healthy Sprouts Awards, sponsored by Gardener's Supply Company. These awards support school and youth garden programs that teach about nutrition and the issue of hunger in the United States.

Healthy Sprouts Awards: Applications will be available February 1, 2009

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