Students from Hodge Elementary School - 2016 BirdSleuth School Garden Grant winner

2016 Garden Grant Winners

In Spring of 2016, BirdSleuth and Alaska Fertilizer launched the first Garden Grant Program. To our surprise, we has over 600 applicants who showed their interest and dedication to providing native habitat, developing food gardens, and engaging their local communities.

Students at Menlo Park Elementary.

Students at Menlo Park Elementary.

We’ve truly enjoyed hearing from the teachers who received a garden grant.  Teacher Elizabeth Archodominion with Menlo Park Elementary strived to build a habitat for birds and humans alike! Their garden not only provides a tasty journey for every Elementary student, but also develops students knowledge of nature to create a bird-friendly, sustainable garden. “It is important to our school to get our students outside, digging in the earth, engaging in real world problem solving, hypothesizing, planning, discovering, cultivating ownership and learning in ways that will be memorable and meaningful,” said Archodominion.

Other schools and their communities truly depend on the garden. Sarah Richards and students at Howard Valentine School are combating the rural Alaska food desert situation. As Richards says, “Living in a place where 95% of our food is imported, we believe food sovereignty and environmental stewardship are topics that warrant as much consideration as reading, writing, and arithmetic.”

Students from George E. Wilson Elementary.

Students from George E. Wilson Elementary.

But ultimately the students experience outside was most important for all the schools selected. Third graders from George E. Wilson Elementary not only were the students able to design and select the plants for the entire garden, Karen Mihalow from Wilson Elementary says, “The students had the best time planting and when asked if they enjoyed creating the garden, every student said an enthusiastic YES!”




When students are so excited to help maintain a garden over the summer and come back to school the following fall, you know the garden has impacted students in a positive way. Learn about all our Garden Grant Winners from 2016 below. Learn more and apply for the Garden Grant Program in the future!

2016 Garden Grant Recipients

Clark Creek Elementary – Acworth, GA

Menlo Park Elementary – Portland, OR

Howard Valentine School – Coffman Cove, AK

Crutcho Elementary – Oklahoma City, OK

Vogel Elementary School – Evansville, IN

Watson High School – Fort Worth, TX

Farley Elementary School – Hudson, MA

George E. Wilson Elementary School – Hamilton, NJ

PEARLS Hawthorne School – Yonkers, NY

Hodge Elementary School – Savannah, GA


  1.  by  Amy Workman

    The grant recipients seem highly skewed toward elementary schools. What is the likelihood of high school environmental science students receiving a grant to plant a pollinator garden on school grounds in order to facilitate pollination of apple trees as well as native plants?

    •  by  BirdSleuth

      Hi Amy. This will only be our third year offering the grant, so it may seem like the selection is skewed. This past school year we predominantly supported middle schools. We do not choose applicants based on grade (as long as they are K-12), solely based on the quality of application provided. It sounds like your program would absolutely be one that we support! Please feel free to reach out to us with any other questions at

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