Community Garden Grant Opportunities
NOTE: This list includes archived grant opportunities; not all opportunities are currently available. However, many funding opportunities are cyclical, so it would be in your best interest to keep closed opportunities in mind for future funding needs.
Please remember these are just a select few of the many grant opportunities available for community development funding. If you are interested in joining our free Watch List for community garden grants, please fill out the form to the right.
Gardening Know How is sponsoring a school and community garden sponsorship Program. Applications are accepted until September 30. This year they will be awarding 10 sponsorships to 10 selected gardens. Each sponsorship will be for $1,000.
Fiskars’ Project Orange Thumb is a grant program that supports 501(c)(3) organizations in the United States, or Canadian organizations that are registered charities under the Canada Revenue Agency, in building community gardens. Fiskars will award ten organizations $5,000 in tools and money to support their gardening goals. One additional award will be given for a complete garden makeover.
The Home Depot Community Impact Grants are available for 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, public schools, or tax-exempt public services agencies in the United States. Grants of up to $5,000 are given in the form of Home Depot gift cards, which can be used for purchasing tools, materials, or services. The Home Depot’s local stores also have limited supplies of $25 donation coupons to aid local organizations with smaller donation needs. It wouldn’t hurt to check with your local store to see if one of these coupons can be provided, as every little bit counts, and when gardening, $25 can provide a lot of seeds!
Nature Hills Nursery’s Green America Award supports community improvement projects by providing trees, bushes, shrubs, and more. Some examples of winning projects include reclaiming abandoned lots to create an orchard that will provide fruit to low-income residents, developing or refurbishing landscaping in a community park, using plants to create a soil erosion control plan along hillsides or river banks, etc. In 2012, awards ranged from $500-$2,000, and awards are given in plan materials, such as trees, bushes, seeds, etc., not actual dollars.
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) offers their Shade Structure grant program to public schools and nonprofit organizations. Grants of up to $8,000 are awarded for installing permanent shade structures for outdoor locations that are not protected from the sun. Organizations must have a 501(c)(3) nonprofit status and provide services to people 18 years of age and younger. Applicants must also be recommended by an AAD member dermatologist, and the AAD’s website offers a tool to find a dermatologist that is an AAD member. See the AAD’s website for additional requirements.
The National Gardening Association has sponsored this grant for four years, aiming to support community organizations with child-centered garden programs. Priority is given to programs that have these components: educational focus or curricular/program, integration to reinforce academics, life skills, instruction, (e.g. nutrition, growing one’s own food, learning to be responsible) developing environmental stewardship, and encouraging students to make positive choices for themselves and the planet. As the title implies, grants are available to states in the Midwest: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
The Captain Planet Foundation mainly focuses on grants to United States schools and organizations. Grants are made for programs that promote and support educational programs and help youth learn about and appreciate the world through a hands-on approach to improve the environment around them. Grants are typically for $500 but can exceed that amount.
The USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) offers the farm to school program, which assists eligible schools in improving access to local foods. In 2012, planning grants were expected to range from $20,000 - $45,000, while implementation grants were expected to be between $65,000 - $100,000. The farm to school program is a general, widely used term, but the goal of the program is to bring more fresh fruits and vegetables to school cafeterias. Funding from the program itself can be used for many different types of projects or activities, among which are school gardens.
The Whole Kids Foundation’s School Garden Grants program provides money to teach kids how to learn about sustainability, conservation, food systems, community awareness, and how food gets from seed to plate. Unlike some grant requirements set forth by corporations, this grant does not require applicants to be located in a region with a Whole Foods Market.
The GRO1000 grant program, sponsored by Scotts Miracle-Gro, is an annual grant program to fund community gardens through 2018. Government entities, school districts, and non profit organizations are eligible to apply for these grants. There are two grant categories: Grassroots Grants and Showcase Grants. Grassroots Grants of up to $1,500 are awarded to local communities to help bring edible gardens, flower gardens, and public green spaces to neighborhoods across the United States. Showcase Grants are awarded directly to mayors for the installment of edible gardens, public gardens, and green space development. Programs that show a positive impact on the community, involvement of area youth, a health and wellness benefit, and plan to donate some of the food to those in need are given priority in funding.
Annie’s believes that gardens are “places for kids to connect to real food, explore new flavors and talk about where our food comes from.” Educational organizations and schools can apply for funding from the organic food producer. Projects that receive funding should combine youth and education with gardening. The next round of grant funding will begin in the fall. Check the website for the application and deadlines.