Garden Grants

The applications are now closed. Please subscribe to our eNews or follow us on social media to learn when the next round of applications begin! 

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. Homeschool families and informal education settings such as nature centers and museums are not eligible. The online application process opens August 29, 2016 and will close October 7, 2016 at 11:59pm ET. Email with any questions.


Grant Application Questions

For those of you looking to prepare for the application, below are the questions. Review our Spring 2016 Garden Grant Winners for inspiration!

  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.

Grant Details & Timeline

Each school selected will receive a BirdSleuth Habitat Connections kit, gardening supplies from Alaska Fertilizer, and $500-$2,000 depending on the school’s needs and overall funding requests.

  • Application window: August 29-October 7, 2016.
  • All winners notified by October 21, 2016.
  • BirdSleuth Habitat Connections kit will be sent to winners immediately.
  • Selected winners must attend a 1.5 hour online training either November 2 at 7pm ET or November 3 at 8pm ET. After the training, 75% of the allocated funds will be provided.
  • Between November 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, 2017 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!




  1.  by  Danielle Sixsmith

    This sounds great! What an opportunity for teachers in schools with limited funds and yet a real desire to engage our biological community! Thank you for sponsoring this opportunity!

  2.  by  Tracy Truzansky

    Although I see “informal” education is not included, I think Cornell might want to consider the school/afterschool partnership opportunity. Learning doesn’t end at 2:30pm and the care of a garden is an excellent opportunity for STEM learning for kids outside of the regular classroom day. Might want to consider this powerful partnership.

    •  by  BirdSleuth

      Hi Tracy, by “informal” educators, we are specifically referring to nature centers and museums. The garden must be in association with a school. If an afterschool educator at a school can receive permission and support from their schools teachers, we highly encourage you to apply!

      •  by  Andrea Hernandez

        That is great. We are with a children’s museum and we run a science workshop after school since we are located and office in a school for the past 14 years. We are the catalyst for this type of program at the school because teachers are overwhelmed with testing. It sounds like we could take the lead on this but involve the classrooms. Is that right?

        •  by  BirdSleuth

          Hi Andrea, yes you are eligible to apply! Best of luck and keep up the good work!

  3.  by  Mike Williamsen

    I appreciate the opportunity to apply for a grant from BirdSleuth. Opportunities like this help a school to extend what is learned in the classroom to practical real life experiences outside the classroom. The garden grant would open up an opportunity to help feed lower income families in our school district with fresh produce. All grade levels can get involve on some level. There is construction, planting, maintaining, harvesting, packaging and distributing experiences for students involved in a school garden program. Thank you BirdSleuth for making these opportunities a reality.

  4.  by  Andrea Hernandez

    I was typing my answers on a separate document and was going to transfer them but it seems I must have hit something wrong and I am locked out of the application. Can someone help me?

  5.  by  Liz

    We are located in a largely urban area. Can we apply for grants for table top or portable garden boxes? Thank you!

  6.  by  Tracy Z

    Hi- we have a garden at our elementary school that is completely managed by PTA. It’s offered as an afterschool enrichment program. It’s been handed over to me but I am new to all of this. I was just made aware of your program and we’d love to add learning to our program about birds but I’m not even sure what our possibilities might be. Ida there any one I can speak to that might help me with ideas?

  7.  by  Andrea Hernandez

    Your email on September 30 said that the deadline is Oct 3 but the one I got today said Oct 7. Which is the deadline?

  8.  by  April

    I’ve just completed our application only to now see that homeschoolers are discouraged to apply. My application was on behalf of our cooperative group, will the application be considered?

    •  by  Kelly

      Hi April, the conditions of the grant require the garden to be in association with a K-12 public or private school. We are unable to support homeschool educators at this time.

  9.  by  April

    This group also has a tax i.d.number and has been established for a few years with growing enrollment currently over 100. Does Birdsleuth or Cornell have an outreach program for home educators?

Post A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *