University of Minnesota

Schoolyard Garden Grants

Garden Grant Process - How to Apply

Schools can design their own garden, enhance an existing garden, or better use an existing garden through the purchase of equipment, plants, or curriculum. This proposal invites you to use your creativity and knowledge about gardening to tailor the request for your specific needs.

Form a team. A team is a minimum of 2 persons and a maximum of 5, at least one of whom teaches some science. The team will designate a Team Leader who must be tenured and will be the contact person for the team and the administrator of the grant money. The project team may include educators of any discipline or administrators. The team must have the support of the principal, head building engineer and a parent or community member (see forms at end of application).

Complete the application. A team of teachers, master gardeners, staff and faculty of the University of Minnesota will evaluate proposals. Criteria for judging applications include, but are not limited to: innovative integration of garden use into multiple disciplines, a clear understanding of the implications of managing a garden at a school site, a plan to involve stakeholders in creating and maintaining the garden, a plan to involve many students in outdoor learning, and a knowledgeable garden plan.

Applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. (Central Time) on Saturday, December 16, 2017. Notification of awards will be e-mailed to Team Leaders by Friday, February 16, 2018. Interested teachers can prepare to apply by viewing a PDF version of the application.

Electronic submissions are preferred. Submit your application using our online process. Please scan and email signature pages and photos to Garden Grant Coordinator Sarah Weaver at Only on-line applicaitons will be accepted.

Apply Online

Support for the Garden Grant Program

Students working in the garden (Photo: Carole Morelli)

Thanks to the generous support of the NEST Foundation, the U of M Monarch Lab was able to start our garden grant program in 2005.  The NEST Foundation supported over 195 schoolyard gardens from 2005 to 2017, and since then, generous donations from people like you and grants from the US Forest Service have allowed us to continue the program, and support gardens in over 180 schools throughout the US. If you care about pollinators and value outdoor education, please consider donating to this effort.

By supporting our schoolyard garden program, you are supporting conservation in two important ways. First, you’re helping to cultivate a generation of students who will care about nature. Schoolyard gardens are especially important in urban areas, since the only ‘nature’ available in many urban schoolyards is grass. Second, since grass is not suitable habitat for most wildlife, including pollinators like monarchs, you’ll be aiding in the creation of habitat. Important pollinators, as well as other invertebrates, birds, and even some mammals, will use the schoolyard gardens that your donations help to create!

We are grateful for any support that you can provide. If requested, gifts of $1000 or more will be recognized by naming a garden after the donor or in honor of someone designated by the donor. Please contact Sarah Weaver for more information on naming a garden grant.

To make a donation, click here and you'll be taken to the University of Minnesota’s Giving Page. Thank you for your support!

Make a Donation

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