UC Master Gardener Program of Alameda County
University of California
UC Master Gardener Program of Alameda County

School Garden Funding

 
Overview

This section includes various ways of obtaining the wherewithal to execute your school garden, from cash grants to in kind and discounted gardening supplies and materials as well as sources of free stuff.

Sub-categories within this section:

Grants

Particularly Useful Resource! California Department of Education (CDE)
In collaboration with organizations and individuals throughout California, the CDE oversees the Garden in Every School Program, which promotes linkages among the school classroom, school cafeteria, local agriculture, waste management, and others. The CDE also administers $15,000,000 in state grants for school gardens pursuant to AB 1535. Its publication A Child's Garden of Standards: Linking School Gardens to California Education Standards links garden based education activities selected from several published educational materials to specific academic content standards for grades two through six in science, history/social sciences, mathematics, and English language arts.
http://www.cde.ca.gov
http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/nu/he/garden.asp

Particularly Useful Resource! California Regional Environmental Education Community (CREEC)
CREEC is an educational project whose mission is to develop a communication network providing educators with access to high quality environmental education resources, including links to quality curriculum materials, professional development for teachers, and funding opportunities.
http://www.creec.org

Particularly Useful Resource! California School Garden Network (CSGN)
The CSGN works to facilitate the connection between school gardening resource organizations and educators. Its members represent a variety of state agencies, private companies, educational institutions and non profit organizations dedicated to creating and sustaining gardens in every willing school in California. The Network serves as a central organization to distribute school garden resources and support throughout the state. It provides information on teacher training, grants and fundraising, and curriculum resources as well as other helpful links.
http://www.csgn.org

Particularly Useful Resource! Gardens for Learning: Creating and Sustaining Your School Garden, California School Garden Network (2006)
This CSGN publication is a comprehensive overview of school gardening from start to finish with ideas for every aspect of your project including funding and recruiting volunteers and sustaining the garden once it is implemented. Hard copies are available to California educators on request a free hard copy; and it is also downloadable as a pdf.
http://www.csgn.org  

Particularly Useful Resource! National Gardening Association (NGA)
The NGA offers books on youth gardening, including Guide to Kid's Gardening, and a bi-monthly magazine with features on children's gardening programs nationwide. NGA sponsors a grant program that honors noteworthy youth gardening projects.
http://www.kidsgardening.com
http://www.garden.org
http://www.kidsgardeningstore.com

Particularly Useful Resource!School Garden Wizard
School Garden Wizard is a website created for grades K 12 through a partnership between the United States Botanic Garden and Chicago Botanic Garden. It contains a beginning to end guide to school gardening from getting approval of your garden proposal through funding and design to sustaining your project. In turn, each section sets out a step by step description of what you will need and how to achieve a successful result. Helpful links and resources are included.
http://www.schoolgardenwizard.org

Particularly Useful Resource! The Watershed Project
The Watershed Project is a nonprofit organization offering a range of services to support healthy watersheds in the San Francisco Bay Area. Programs and services include workshops for educators and the general public about school gardening, gardening resources and grant information and assistance, and Teacher Action Grants to support teachers engaged in school gardening. The Project also has a demonstration garden featuring native plants as well as a propagation nursery offering plants for sale. It publishes a newsletter with helpful information and resources for school gardening.
http://www.thewatershedproject.org

Alameda Countywide Clean Water Program
The Program encourages and facilitates grassroots community actions that enhance and protect the health of local watersheds, creeks, and the San Francisco Bay and has established the Community Stewardship Grant Program for community groups, educators, environmentalists, nonprofit groups, and others to conduct projects to support these goals. Past grants have been awarded for creekside restoration and revegetation and wildlife habitat projects.
http://www.cleanwaterprogram.org/schools_programsOpp.htm

California Fertilizer Foundation (CFF)
The CFF works to enhance awareness and understanding of plant nutrients and agriculture in California. It is part of the California School Garden Network, a group of organizations with a shared interest in garden based learning and teaching about agriculture through the use of school gardens. CFF offers unrestricted grants, gift cards, and educational materials. The website also includes quick links to other school gardening sites and educational resources.
http://www.calfertilizer.org

Community Resources for Science (CRS)
CRS helps elementary teachers use science resources to give all kids access to hands on learning experiences. By becoming CRS members, teachers can request individual consulting for developing lesson plans to meet grade level science standards, logistical support for in class presentations and locating grant applications as well as many other benefits.
http://www.crscience.org/

Edible Schoolyard Project
The Edible Schoolyard is a non profit cooking and gardening program located on the campus of Martin Luther King Junior Middle School in Berkeley. Its extensive website provides a wealth of information on virtually every aspect of school gardening, including tips and suggestions on things they "learned the hard way."
http://www.edibleschoolyard.org 

Western Growers Charitable Foundation (WGCF)
WGCF is a charitable foundation established by the Western Growers Association, an agricultural trade association in California and Arizona. WGCF has established a School Garden Program that raises funds to start and maintain gardens at every school in California and Arizona and provide children opportunities to become more closely linked with their food supply. The Program offers grants and also solicits donations of items school put on its "wish list," such as seedlings and plants, garden tools and gloves, volunteers and funding. The website contains information on starting a school garden and links to useful gardening resources.
http://www.wga.com/default.php?id=80

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Donations & Other Free Stuff 

America the Beautiful Fund
The Fund helps preserve our national heritage by assisting community-level programs and projects to save the natural and historic environment and improve the quality of life. It offers free seeds to schools upon application.
http://www.america-the-beautiful.org

California Fertilizer Foundation (CFF)
The CFF works to enhance awareness and understanding of plant nutrients and agriculture in California. It is part of the California School Garden Network, a group of organizations with a shared interest in garden based learning and teaching about agriculture through the use of school gardens. CFF offers unrestricted grants, gift cards, and educational materials. The website also includes quick links to other school gardening sites and educational resources.
http://www.calfertilizer.org

KidMAX for California Schools
KidMAX works to provide a free source of used materials, such as art supplies and building supplies, to California's schools through the California Material Exchange (CalMAX), which helps businesses find markets for nonhazardous materials they have traditionally discarded.
http://www.ciwmb.ca.gov/calmax/Kidmax.htm

Local nurseries and plant stores
Many nurseries and plant stores discard plants when they lose their saleable appearance. With a little coaxing and TLC, they can often be brought back to their former vigor. Always check first, but most nurseries generally have no objection, especially for a worthy cause, if these plants are taken away. You may also want to see if plants are discarded on a regular day or if the nursery will notify you when discards are available.
Contact your local nursery manager or owner

Local tree services
Tree chippings make excellent mulch. Many tree services are only to happy to give away their chips rather than haul them to a green waste center. Check with your local service for days scheduled in your area and arrange for a pickup. Depending on the location, the service may even be willing to drop the chippings at your school. Note: Be sure to verify specific delivery dates to avoid excessive drop offs. Also, confirm that chippings do not include any diseased plant material, weeds, or other undesirable contents.
Contact your local tree service manager or owner

StopWaste.Org
StopWaste.Org is the Alameda County Waste Management Authority and the Alameda County Source Reduction and Recycling Board operating as one public agency in part to promote environmental awareness. It provides free garden related materials to teachers, including "Do the Rot Thing" teacher's guide with activities on worms and composting for grades K 12; in class presentations on how to use compost bins and worm boxes to turn yard waste and food scraps into organic fertilizer, plus a free worm bin and worms; technical assistance including a resource library with composting information.
http://www.stopwaste.org

Tool lending libraries
Many cities have a lending service for gardening and other tools through their public libraries. Tools are available to members of the community in good standing with the library who agreed to the terms of the service. If your location is not listed below, check with your library or local city government.
Oakland: http://www.oaklandlibrary.org/Branches/tem.htm
Berkeley: http://www.infopeople.org/bpl/tool

Village Garden Web
Free sawdust for composting in Oakland
Email inquiries to: mlombard@mills.edu

Western Growers Charitable Foundation (WGCF)
WGCF is a charitable foundation established by the Western Growers Association, an agricultural trade association in California and Arizona. WGCF has established a School Garden Program that raises funds to start and maintain gardens at every school in California and Arizona and provide children opportunities to become more closely linked with their food supply. The Program offers grants and also solicits donations of items school put on its "wish list," such as seedlings and plants, garden tools and gloves, volunteers and funding. The website contains information on starting a school garden and links to useful gardening resources.
http://www.wga.com/default.php?id=80

Particularly Useful Resource! Gardens for Learning: Creating and Sustaining Your School Garden, California School Garden Network (2006)
This CSGN publication is a comprehensive overview of school gardening from start to finish with ideas for every aspect of your project including funding and recruiting volunteers and sustaining the garden once it is implemented. Hard copies are available to California educators on request a free hard copy; and it is also downloadable as a pdf.
http://www.csgn.org

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Discounts

Bay Friendly Gardening
The Bay Friendly Gardening Program operates under the auspices of StopWaste.Org. to sponsor a variety of programs promoting environmentally sound gardening practices. The program includes workshops; garden tours; and information on soil preparation, plant selection, and composting. The website contains a list of local nurseries that stock bay friendly plants and give a 10% discount with a downloadable flyer as well as a list of native plant sources throughout the Bay Area. The website also features links to sources for salvaged, recycled, and organic landscape materials and a variety of other garden resources.
http://www.stopwaste.org

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Fundraising

Particularly Useful Resource! California School Garden Network (CSGN)
The CSGN works to facilitate the connection between school gardening resource organizations and educators. Its members represent a variety of state agencies, private companies, educational institutions and non profit organizations dedicated to creating and sustaining gardens in every willing school in California. The Network serves as a central organization to distribute school garden resources and support throughout the state. It provides information on teacher training, grants and fundraising, and curriculum resources as well as other helpful links.
http://www.csgn.org

Particularly Useful Resource!Gardens for Learning: Creating and Sustaining Your School Garden, California School Garden Network (2006)
This CSGN publication is a comprehensive overview of school gardening from start to finish with ideas for every aspect of your project including funding and recruiting volunteers and sustaining the garden once it is implemented. Hard copies are available to California educators on request a free hard copy; and it is also downloadable as a pdf.
http://www.csgn.org/

Particularly Useful Resource! School Garden Wizard
School Garden Wizard is a website created for grades K 12 through a partnership between the United States Botanic Garden and Chicago Botanic Garden. It contains a beginning to end guide to school gardening from getting approval of your garden proposal through funding and design to sustaining your project. In turn, each section sets out a step by step description of what you will need and how to achieve a successful result. Helpful links and resources are included.
http://www.schoolgardenwizard.org

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