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$15 million in grants available for school gardens

School gardening plants the seeds of sustainability that can flourish over a is encouraged!

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Instructional School Garden Program funds were authorized by Assembly Bill 1535.

With Americans spending more than 95% of their time indoors -- we have a crisis in connections to the real world! Gardening has been our heritage as humans to connect with the soil and our food supply. When gardening starts young, people become naturally attuned to the ecosystem, to weather, to habitat, to ecological sustainability. School gardens are often the only place children urban children have access to gardening, so the School Gardens program is a vital link in sustainable communities. We hope you will encourage, volunteer and support this educational opportunity.

California public schools, county offices of education, and directfunded charter schools can use the grant funds to create, maintain, and expand instructional school gardens that can serve as a learning laboratory to support academic instruction. The funds are available this school-year (2006-07) to support instructional school gardens through June 2009.

southern california native species "These grants will provide seed money for schools to develop a school garden or to expand existing school gardens for academic instruction," O'Connell said. "School gardens can be a vehicle for teaching standards-based science, mathematics, social science, and English-language arts courses, as well as garden-enhanced nutrition, health, agricultural, and visual art education. School gardens reinforce healthy food choices and lifestyles in an experiential learning environment. Instructional school gardens can nourish students' bodies and minds and also help students develop a better appreciation for sustaining the environment, maintaining our food supply, and prompting stewardship of our earth."

Less than one third of all California schools have instructional school gardens. The California Instructional School Garden Program's grant application is available to public school districts, county offices of education, and directfunded charter schools to apply for funds on behalf of their school sites. The application deadline for the first round of grant funding is Friday, April 20th. The electronic California Instructional School Garden Grant application and instructions are found on the California Department of Education (CDE) Web site

CSGN is a 501(c)(3) whose partners represent a variety of state agencies,private companies, educational institutions and non-profit organizations all dedicated to the mission of 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 California.

Media Contact:
Paul Simonds, Western Growers

Other Inquiries:
John Fisher, Life Lab Science Program

California School Garden Network

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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