Outdoor Classroom and Garden Grant Resources

Outdoor classrooms and gardens are a fun way for students to learn in their natural surroundings. They give them a chance to stretch their legs and take part in experiential learning.

There are many grants available to start or expand your school's outdoor learning experiences. But before you apply, here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Because blended learning is a highly context dependent strategy, no universal definition of it exists. The strategy may also be described as personalized learning, e-learning, hybrid learning or integrated learning.

Apply for relevant grants

Often grants have specific restrictions including location or use requirements. For instance, some might be restricted to urban schools, while others might be for small, rural schools. Check out the requirements before you apply. Make sure your program matches the grant's outline.

Get feedback and approval from school administrators

Some grants require administrators to sign off on applications. It always makes sense to talk to administrators before starting or expanding any notable grant project. Administrators can usually give feedback about the feasibility of a particular program being successful at your school.

Apply as soon as you can

School garden grants can be highly competitive. For instance, some programs stop taking applications after receiving a set amount of them. Others have several rounds of funding per year. Check application due dates and make sure the program is actually taking applications before you apply.

Ask for the correct amount and type of funding

Read you grant application carefully and make sure you are applying for the exact amount, or funding range, the funder offers. Asking for more or less will hurt your chances for being awarded a grant. Also, make sure your request aligns with the funder's outlines. For example, make sure you're requesting funds for teaching materials, plants, or gardening supplies if that's the grant's intended purpose.

Look at other successful grant programs

Often you'll find copies of successful grant programs online, or can review past success stories on the funder's website. Take the time to read them. They will give you a great idea of what types of projects attract funding.

Document your grant project

Funders and supporters love to see the results of their funding. Keep a record of your project through its completion. Take before and after phots, record video or interview students about their experience. Often funders will use that information as a success story on their website.

America in Bloom Grant Opportunities: http://www.americainbloom.org/resources/Grant-Opportunities.aspx

Greenworks Grants (environmental service learning): https://www.plt.org/resources/greenworks-grants

Environmental Education Association of Illinois Grant Opportunities: http://www.eeai.net/additional-grant-opportunities.html

GardenABCs Grants: https://www.gardenabcs.com/grants.html

Lowe's Toolbox for Education (community and school projects): http://toolboxforeducation.com

Battelle STEM Grants Program: (out of classroom STEM experiences) https://www.battelle.org/battelle-stem/battelle-stem-grant-program

National Environmental Education Foundation Grants: https://www.neefusa.org/grants

Slow Food USA National School Garden Program Grant Opportunities: http://gardens.slowfoodusa.org/grants

Home Depot Garden Club Youth Gardening Grant: http://gardenclub.homedepot.com/the-good-seed-grow-a-youth-garden-with-a-grant-from-home-depot

Whole Kids Foundation Grants: https://www.wholekidsfoundation.org/index.php/schools/school-garden-grant-program

Community GroundWorks Grants Opportunities for School Gardens: http://www.communitygroundworks.org/content/grants-opportunities-school-gardens

KidsGardening.org Grants Opportunities for School and Youth Garden Programs: https://www.kidsgardening.org/grant-opportunities/

Annie's Grants for Gardens: http://www.annies.com/doing-more/grants-for-gardens

CityScience Classroom Grants (environmental projects): http://cityscience.org/index.php/stem-news/ClassroomGrants/#codeword2

Seeds of Change Grant Program: https://www.seedsofchangegrant.com

Captain Planet Foundation Small Grants (for schools with an annual budget of less than $3 million): http://www.captainplanetfoundation.org/apply-for-grants/

Herb Society of America Samull Classroom Herb Garden Grand: http://www.herbsociety.org/support/grants-scholarships/grant-details.html

USDA Farm to School Grant Program: https://www.fns.usda.gov/farmtoschool/farm-school-grant-program

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