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School Garden Grant

Grants to Nevada K-12 Title I Schools
for Educational Garden Programs

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA)

Deadline Date:

09/20/18 5:00 PM PST


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Grants of up to $5,000 to Nevada K-12 Title I schools to support educational gardens where students may learn about healthy nutrition and applied sciences. Funding may be used to create, expand, or maintain a school garden. All garden projects must have a designated coordinator. Additionally, the school garden program must provide related professional development for teachers.


Encouraging consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables is an ongoing priority for Nevada schools to promote healthy living and learning for Nevada youth. Senate Bill (SB) 167 of the 2017 Nevada Legislature was passed to encourage Title I schools to establish and maintain school gardens where students can learn applied sciences and healthy eating.

This educational approach will also allow teachers to provide a course of study in science, pursuant to Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 389.520, in a hands-on setting as an extension of the classroom.

Grant definitions:

School garden – References the actual garden space including: growing methods, structures, supplies, plants and produce, etc.

School garden program – A school garden program encompasses the entire scope of a school garden per the school and community’s needs. When referencing the “program” NDA generally includes the actual garden site, the leadership involved in overseeing the program, the curriculum integration of the garden (formal education), informal education, activities, and outputs that benefit stakeholders.

School garden program activities – School gardens provide all types of opportunities for exploration and learning. These opportunities may be offered through formal and informal educational activities, in or away from the garden, and with a variety stakeholders. These activities or events are generally provided:

-As an extension of curriculum integration. The events/activities executed to allow students involved in the school garden program through curriculum integration to build upon the knowledge and skills they’ve been learning. Examples would include: Developing a marketing campaign to sell fresh fruits and vegetables to the community, hosting a Farmer’s Market, sharing their knowledge with others, chef demonstrations, designing new garden features, etc.

-As opportunities for engagement of additional populations in the school garden program (indirect student, faculty, and parent or community engagement). For example, offering teachers currently not participating in curriculum integration the opportunity to bring their classrooms on a field trip to learn about the school garden, invitation to student body to vote on produce marketing campaigns developed by students in school garden program, including the garden as an option for recess for small touchpoint activity or to just relax and explore in the garden environment, invitation to parents and community to participate in the school’s Farmer’s Market or sign-up for your school garden Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), providing produce to the high school culinary program, etc.

School garden curriculum integration – Garden-based learning encompasses programs, activities, lessons, and projects in which the garden is the foundation for integrated learning, in and across disciplines, through active, engaging, real-world experiences. Curriculum integration refers to teachers utilizing the garden as an extension of their classroom to teach to established grade-level state standard and/or Common Core and/or NGSS and to expand agricultural literacy. To be considered curriculum integration, a teacher would frequently use the garden for learning and to build upon concepts introduced in the classroom. Classrooms immersed in the school garden are practicing curriculum integration.

School garden professional development plan – The main obstacles to most teachers considering curriculum integration with a school garden are: 1) school garden growing methods don’t align with the school year (production in the summer), 2) teachers are not comfortable with the garden, 3) teachers are unsure how to incorporate the garden into the standards. In order to address these obstacles, it is highly recommended that each grant recipient’s school garden committee work together to identify a professional development plan for the teachers in their school to provide them with opportunities for initial engagement in the garden, training on curriculum pieces that incorporate the garden as a learning lab, and consider methods to grow throughout the year for increased participation.

School garden committee – Each site should have a robust school garden committee of passionate individuals willing to contribute to making the school garden a success. This committee provides leadership regarding the program and is responsible for helping set program direction (goals/vision), identifying obstacles, developing policies and trainings as needed, and assessing the success of the school garden program. The committee may include teachers, other school staffers, parents, alumni, student representatives, community members, nonprofit partners, etc.

School garden site coordinator(s) – The individual(s) spearheading school garden logistics including preparation, implementation, maintenance, harvesting, food safety, risk management in the garden.

School garden program coordinator(s) – The individuals(s) responsible for garden integration in classrooms and the school community. Provides leadership to staff on professional development, works closely with the garden coordinator on the logistics and plans for the garden for maximum integration with student learning. Depending on the school situation, the same individuals(s) may be both the garden site coordinator and the garden program coordinator.

School garden program grant award manager – The individual responsible for overseeing administration of the school garden grant award at the school site including budgeting, compiling data tracking, and submitting award reports and paperwork to the school district and the NDA.

Direct student engagement in the school garden program – Refers to those students that will assist in the planning, development, growing, harvesting, and organizing and executing farmer’s markets and other school garden activities. Includes students in classrooms practicing curriculum integration. Immersion in the school garden program versus episodic interactions.

Administration Division:

Indirect student engagement in the school garden program – Refers to those students who may benefit from the school garden program through field trips, taste tests, education on garden produce in school meals, but do not directly contribute to the planning and management of the garden nor have school garden curriculum integration in their classrooms. Episodic interactions with school garden program versus immersion.

Example of Direct vs. Indirect Student Engagement:

Classroom A has embraced school garden curriculum integration and the teacher truly uses the garden as an opportunity to teach multiple disciplines and standards. As a STEM project the class constructed a small hoop house in order to grow some winter vegetables with the goal of using the produce to help educate their peers on healthy eating habits and expand their knowledge of food products. The class was divided into smaller working groups and each team selected, planted, and tended a vegetable appropriate to the winter growing conditions. The class planned to use the harvest to conduct taste tests in their school cafeteria. Each team develop a poster of the crop they chose and included nutritional and fun facts. Students were responsible for planning and execution of all logistics of the taste test. When asked how they would measure if their taste test influenced their peers, they decide to conduct a verbal survey. As a student approached each sample station, they were asked if they’ve had said vegetable before, and if so, if they liked it. Then following the consumption of the sample, they were asked how likely they would be to eat that vegetable again. After the event the groups compiled their survey responses and reported on the change in attitudes.

The students in classroom A represent direct student engagement. In this example there is curriculum engagement, student driven planning and use of garden outputs, and frequent hands-on interaction in the school garden. The student body participating in the taste tests are an example of indirect student engagement. Their benefit and learning from the activity is valued, but it’s considered indirect engagement since their participation was a by-product of the school garden program (in this example a taste testing school garden activity) versus their continued personal participation in the school garden program.

Farm to School – This program enriches the connection communities have with fresh, healthy food and local food producers by chancing food purchasing and education practices at schools and early care and education site. The focus is on one or more of the following:

-Procurement: Local foods are purchased promoted and served in the cafeteria or as a snack or taste-test;
-Education: Students participate in education activities related to agriculture, food, health or nutrition; and
-School gardens: Students engage in hands-on learning through gardening.

Agricultural literacy – In 2013, the National Agricultural Literacy Logic Model was released. To support this model, an agriculturally literate person was defined as:

“A person who understands and can communicate the source and value of agriculture as it affects our quality of life.” View more information on agricultural literacy research and guiding publications online.

Expected program outcomes:

To be considered for the award, each school must agree to the following:
-Create/expand and maintain a school garden.
-Identify a school garden coordinator.
-Establish a garden team comprised of teachers, parents, and members of the community. The garden team should meet at least once each month.
-Develop and implement a food safety plan designed to ensure that food grown in a school garden is properly handled and safe to sell and consume.
-Obtain a producer’s certificate through the Nevada Department of Agriculture for any food to be consumed in cafeteria or distributed to the general public (Farmer’s market, food pantry, etc.).
-Identify curriculum connections and implement curriculum resources.
-The school garden program must have a plan to provide professional development to teachers.
-Track data on school garden activities and student learning.

The following is a list of recommended activities that have been successful in school gardens in Nevada:
-Seek expertise and assistance from members of the community, such as, trained educators, local farmers, and local chefs.
-Provide pupils with the ability to operate a farmer’s market to sell the produce from the school garden.
-Provide the opportunity to have a local chef or employee of a school who works in food services demonstrate how to properly cook a meal using the produce grown from the school garden.
-Integrate the school garden into the overall wellness policy of the school.

Eligible Expenditures:

For the purpose of this award, school gardens may include various growing systems such as hoop houses, raised beds, aquaponics, hydroponics, greenhouses, indoor growing, orchards, outdoor garden classrooms, etc.

All costs must be necessary, reasonable and allowable for proper and efficient performance and administration of the award.

Eligible expenditures include:

-Personnel – Describe key personnel that will be involved and how their activities will go towards accomplishing the objectives of the award. Provide a breakdown of their time commitment to the project and estimated hourly rate.

-Contractual – If contracting with a vendor, nonprofit or other organization to support garden activities, provide a breakdown of their time commitment to the project, estimated rate, and anticipated deliverables. Note if the vendor will provide supplies, the cost of supplies should be included in their contract versus being listed below. If you are partnering with a nonprofit school garden partner to assist with development and maintenance of your garden, describe their role in the project and describe their experience with previous school garden programs.

-Travel – Reasonable expenses at GSA per diem rates for mileage, registration, hotel and meals are allowable for school garden conferences within the state and other approved professional development opportunities. The school site must submit to the NDA award coordinator a request for approval to use award funding to attend another conference, including breakdown of costs, and how it will provide resources that support curriculum integration per NRS 389.520 and/or food safety.

-Supplies – List purchases of supplies and materials that the school site will purchase for the school garden program.

Approved supplies include:
-Appropriate garden supplies (bed material, garden tools, soil and media, seeds, fertilizer, etc.)
-Appropriate educational supplies for curriculum integration of the garden.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 183911

Estimated Size of Grant:

This program allocates funding to each qualifying school at a maximum of $5,000 for fiscal year 2018-2019.

Term of Contract:

All award funds must be appropriated by June 30, 2019.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:


Per SB 167, Title I schools in Nevada (as defined in NRS 385A.040) are eligible to apply for school garden funding.

Eligibility criteria:

-Are you a Title 1 school that serves any grades K -12? Note: 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations working in partnership with a K-12 school are allowed to participate under a contractual arrangement, however this component must be outlined in the Title 1 school’s application

-Has the school received letters of support of this application from the school principal and school district administration?

-Is the school garden (or proposed school garden) an edible school garden? The main focus of the school garden must be to grow vegetables, fruit, grains, orchard trees, or other plants that grow food intended for human consumption.

Pre-Application Information:

The online application and required attachments are due September 20, 2018 by 5:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time (PST).

-September 20, 2018: Applications due to NDA via online submission
-November 16, 2018: Award announcement
-November 2018: Finalize sub-grant awards with school districts for awards to their schools.
-November 2018 – June 2019: Submission of request for advancement or reimbursement of expenses and financial reporting.
-May 1, 2019 – Mid-project: Report due
-June 30, 2019: All award funds must be appropriated
-September 30, 2019: Final report due (schools failing to submit a final report by the deadline will be subject to repayment of funds).

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

The online application and required attachments may be submitted here:

Amber Smyer

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Nevada