Today’s youth spend less time outdoors than any other generation. To combat this, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation, along with national nonprofit KidsGardening, opened its Gro More Good Grassroots Grants, an annual grant program designed to get more kids outside through the development of youth-based garden and greenspace programs. Schools and nonprofit organizations across the US are encouraged to apply.
Decades of community outreach by ScottsMiracle-Gro and KidsGardening, plus NGO and academic research, confirms that gardening and outdoor play has a significant positive effect on children’s lives. Some of these benefits include increased consumption of fruits and vegetables, more physical activity, increased emotional well-being and better academic performance.
“When children connect with the earth, with their hands in the dirt, something magical happens,” said Jim King, president of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation. “Together with KidsGardening, we have over seventy years of experience working hands-on with communities. We’ve seen firsthand how gardening and outdoor play can improve children’s lives. And we believe it’s our responsibility to bring more of those opportunities to children who need them.”
From sensory gardens to hydroponic farms, pollinator habitats to natural playscapes, the Gro More Good Grassroots Grants will support all types of community-driven garden and greenspace projects that directly engage youth. Grant funding will support the creation of new gardens and also the expansion of existing ones. The 2020 application is available now at https://kidsgardening.org/2020-gromoregood-grassroots-grant/.
"There is an unmet need in the youth gardening community for funding that provides organizations with a boost to get started or expand their gardens to the next level," says Sarah Pounders, senior education specialist for KidsGardening. "The national recognition provided by this grant can also help garden programs bolster additional local community support. We are thrilled to partner with The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation to offer this invaluable support for organizations working so hard to get more kids playing, learning, and growing through gardening."
The Grassroots Grants are part of ScottsMiracle-Gro’s larger Gro More Good initiative to connect 10 million children to the benefits of gardens and greenspaces over the next five years. As part of Gro More Good, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation is partnering with leading not-for-profit organizations, such as KidsGardening, to help overcome some of the pressing challenges facing today’s youth––including childhood obesity, poor nutrition and nature deficit––by improving children’s access to fresh food and increasing their time spent connected to nature.
The Gro More Good Grassroots Grant application will be open until February 14, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. EST. One hundred seventy-five grants, ranging from $500 to $1,000, will be awarded based on youth engagement, community impact, and sustainability, among other factors. Winners will be announced on the first day of spring, March 20, 2020.