Garden Grants

The application for garden grants has now closed. If you applied, you will be informed by February 22 of your application status. Please contact if you have any questions.

BirdSleuth School Garden Grant

School gardens provide the context for lessons across subjects and offer a wonderful opportunity to engage students in hands-on, project-based learning. Students who engage in school gardening are likely to experience academic, physical, emotional, social, and even behavioral benefits. We are seeking 10 dedicated teachers within the United States who strive to bring STEM and healthy living from the garden to the classroom. These teachers will receive a $500-$2,000 grant, gardening supplies, and BirdSleuth’s Habitat Connections kit thanks to our sponsor Alaska Fertilizer. Funds may be used to support the building or revitalization of school gardens. In addition to food gardens, preference will be given to bird, pollinator, native habitat, rain, and other natural projects.

Application Process & Eligibility

The application is open to all K-12 schools, public and private, within the United States. The application process opens January 1, 2016 and will close February 15, 2016. We will notify all applicants on February 22, 2016 by 11:59pm EST. At least half the gardens funded will be underserved, high-need, urban schools. Apply here. Email with any questions.

Grant Details & Timeline

Alaska Fertilizer has given a total of $12,000 to distribute to 10 schools across the United States. Each school will receive a BirdSleuth Habitat Connections kit and $500-$2,000 depending on the school’s needs.

  • All winners will be notified February 22, 2016.
  • Selected winners must first attend an online training either March 3 at 7pm ET or March 7 at 8pm ET. Upon completion, 75% of the allocated funds will be provided along with the Habitat Connections kit.
  • Between March and June, the winning schools must implement their proposed garden plan and the kit lessons.
  • A final report is required no later than July 1, 2016 from each school. This final report will consist of a brief survey and sharing the school’s progress on the BirdSleuth Action Map. Upon submission of the final report, each school will receive the remaining 25% of the funds to support continuation of the project.

About Alaska FertilizerAlaska_Logo-01

Alaska Fertilizer produces fish emulsion fertilizers, made from by-products of the fishing industry. High in organic matter, these fertilizers make use of otherwise wasted nutrients. These fertilizers are useful on all types of plants, easy to use, difficult to over-apply, harmless, and organic – making them ideal for school use!

Grant Application Questions

For those of you looking to prepare for the application, below are the questions.

  1. Please tell us what you’d like to do to support the building or revitalization of your school garden. Describe in detail what you’d like to accomplish.

  2. Where is/will the garden be located? When do you anticipate beginning your project and over what time frame do you think you will implement it?

  3. Who will participate in the construction of your garden? Who will have access to the garden upon completion?

  4. How do you plan to integrate gardening for birds or habitat creation/improvements? Please give us some details about your plans.

  5. What learning/educational outcomes do you hope for?

  6. How much funding are you requesting and how will you use the funding (plants, supplies, curriculum, seed, professional development, etc.)? Your chances of receiving an award will be higher if you are specific with your budget. Grants range $500-$2,000. You may not receive the amount you request. Grants will be based on need and impact.



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  2.  by  CS Calkins

    Your Application Process & Eligibility states “The application is open to all K-12 schools within the United States.” Does that include homeschools?

    •  by  BirdSleuth

      I am sorry, but due to the nature of the sponsorship homeschool families are not eligible.

      •  by  RB

        Oh, that is a shame! I was about to apply for my homeschool. Please consider including homeschools in the future.

  3.  by  Acorn Child Care & Early Learning Center

    Our Pre-k / Pre-school program would love to be a part of the gardening grant. The children are smart and very interested in growing their own food and flowers.
    Jackie Miller
    Center Director

    •  by  BirdSleuth

      Hi Jackie, I highly encourage you to develop a garden at your program. Unfortunately we don’t consider Pre-K programs due to the nature of the Habitat Connections curriculum. It has been developed specifically for 3-8 grade students. We have seen a select few successful 1-2 and high school adaptations of the curriculum, but we feel it is not age appropriate for the Pre-K audience.

  4.  by  Shelley Dorman

    I am saddened to hear that home schools are not included. Home schools get no funding.

    •  by  Lindsay

      Hi Shelley, I would recommend contacting a local nursery, walmart, home depot, etc. and see if they have ripped bags of seed or broken bird houses that you can repair. Often times they are willing to donate such items if they know its going towards educational purposes.

    •  by  BirdSleuth

      Hi Shelley, The nature of this sponsorship is pretty specific, and unfortunately home schools aren’t eligible. I understand why this is saddening. We wish we could do more for all learners.

    •  by  Anne

      Homeschools are not real schools. They are your house. You can do your own landscaping and gardening for vegetables, birds, pollinators and so forth with information from the web. It will improve the value of your home as well.

    •  by  Heather

      I am also saddened by this as I am part of many homeschool groups locally and online. One of the things discussed is gardening and how to support your family and help give back to the community. To shrink your carbon footprint and to grow food that you may store, and benefit others as well.

    •  by  Heidi

      I agree. These kinds of things always seem to exclude a large population that could greatly benefit from this type of project b

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  6.  by  Pam Caehill

    I work at a 6-8 magnet middle school with a focus on STEM. We have a garden that has been doing pretty well, with student volunteers. It would be great to expand this existing program. Would we be eligible for this grant?

  7.  by  Don Vincent

    Please, please, please tell me they do not have their hands in biosolids “compost” …. tell me it is Organic -OMRI please!

  8.  by  kara

    What about a 4-H club? Would they be eligible? We have a diverse group of kids and have members ages k-18.

    •  by  BirdSleuth

      Hi Kara, this particular grant is available only to schools in the United States, both public and private. If your 4-H program is based at or affiliated with a school, I’d encourage a teacher to apply! But do keep your eye out on our webpage and social media… we work a lot with 4-H programs and have offered workshops and resources specifically for 4-H. Good luck with your efforts!

  9.  by  Stephen Lush

    This grant opportunity is right up our alley! I teach K-5, what I call Scienhancement, with an emphasis on teaching science through Farm to School, health and wellness, and combating nature deficiency. My question is this, if I start the grant writing process, is it possible to save it as I go along?

    •  by  BirdSleuth

      Hi Stephen, the way our application is set up is that you can return to your application, but only if you are using the same electronic device. Once your application is completed, it cannot be changed.

  10.  by  Kimm

    I am so excited to find this grant! I am a paraprofessional at an outstanding elementary school in Northern Indiana. Our facility is currently in the process of being rebuilt and will not be completed until, at least, January 2017. At that point, the current school building will then be deconstructed, as such, we will not be able to begin our learning garden until the summer of 2017. I see that there are specific timeframe requirements, which we would not be able to meet this year due to the new build, so I am curious to know if this is offered yearly?

    •  by  BirdSleuth

      Hi Kim, this is the first time we are offering this grant. We would love to offer it again, but it all depends of sponsorship funding.

  11.  by  Powell Gammill

    Come on, it can’t include home schools. By definition most home schools are a home of a single family.

    In several states that grudgingly permit home schools they specifically prohibit home school students from attending schooling at other home schooled children’s homes who may have parents much better capable of teaching certain subjects. So no way those people can collaborate as a home school. But….

    If a group of home school parents wanted a garden teaching experience for their kids (in any state) they should consider forming a community garden. There are grants available for such. And different communities have different assets available for such: idle property, every county in the US has a Master Gardener program (or even the Cooperative Exchange) dedicated to helping such an endeavor. You’d be surprised at how many are sympathetic to home schooling.

    As for those schools that have applied good luck to you and keep planting.

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  13.  by  Tamara O'Toole

    Thank you so much for funding this project! I am not a teacher but have three sons in school, so I will get a teacher involved.
    Here is my question. Our school district is in the process of raising funds to put gardens in all our schools which is being completed one school at a time and will take a significant amount of time to complete.
    My youngest son’s school is underserved by the district tax dollars due to location and population served.
    Could his teacher and school apply, and, if granted, begin a garden according to your guidelines; then later(perhaps years), when we receive the district funding for a garden, could we continue to use the same garden according to possible new guidelines without fault or payback required?
    We are very excited about our district PTA plans. However I feel every year that we wait is another year of student underserved.
    Looking forward to your response,
    Tamara O’Toole

    •  by  BirdSleuth

      Hi Tamara, yes that won’t be an issue at all. Our biggest concern is ensuring those who receive the grant follow the timeline mentioned above.

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  15.  by  Linda

    Would you be able to post the application questions so that we may plan our answers prior to beginning the online application?

    •  by  BirdSleuth

      Hi Linda, we will work on getting the questions posted. You are also welcome to start the application and finish it at a later time.

  16.  by  Aubrey

    I am from a small urban project-based charter school in Durham, NC and we have several teachers at our school who are interested in applying. Is the school limited to one application or can any interested teacher at our school submit an application?

  17.  by  Veronica

    I know this is currently only open to schools, but please consider opening it to libraries as well if you do it again! I work at a public library that does a community garden every spring/summer and we’d love to be a part of something like this!

  18.  by  K. Brennan

    Has the announcement of the winners already taken place? Where can we see a list of the projects that have been chosen?

    •  by  Kelly

      Yes, the winners have been chosen and everyone has been notified. All winners will be sharing their projects through our Action Map by the end of the school year. We’ll be sure to share those links when they have been posted.

      •  by  laura tyler

        we applied for one of your grants and we didn’t get one. You mention ins the rejection letter that we would be getting something, but we have not received anything. have those gifts gone out yet?

        •  by  Kelly

          Hi Laura, They have not gone out yet. We are still working on pulling them together for all our applicants. We hope to have them out by mid-April.

  19.  by  Miss Vicki

    We just found out about the Alaska Fertilizer Grant, and it is way past the deadline. Is this an annual grant that we should look for next January? We are a school serving 90% economically disadvantaged students and looking for grant support for an afterschool experiential landscaping class.

    •  by  BirdSleuth

      We are in the process and securing funding the provide this grant again next year. You’re welcome to subscribe to our eNews which will provide you more updates on grant opportunities.

  20.  by  Tara Dukanauskas (North Andrews Gardens)

    I never heard who the Feb 22 grant winner were and if somehow we won but did not receive the notification. I emailed but the question was not answered. Can you list the winners?

    •  by  BirdSleuth

      Hi Tara, we notified everyone of their application status last month. We will likely post the winners once they have completed their projects this spring.

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