Gardens for Learning is a grant and technical assistance program that provides a unique opportunity for participating communities to support summer gardening, nutrition, and cooking programs for children at risk of summertime hunger.

The Gardens for Learning grant program supports youth programs that meet the following educational standards:

HANDS-ON GARDENING: Youth understand how to plant, take proper care of, and harvest several varieties of fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Youth have daily visits to the garden and can identify the different plants growing. Youth recognize the garden as an ecosystem and value local agriculture.

HANDS-ON NUTRITION: Youth have a basic understanding of whole foods nutrition and can apply healthy eating guidelines. Youth can identify edible plant parts and understand their nutritional value. Youth have access to taste testing foods grown in the garden.

HANDS-ON COOKING: Youth participate in the preparation, cooking, and preserving of healthy snacks and meals for themselves and their community. Youth acquire practical skills in simple cooking techniques and are able to follow a recipe. Locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables are highlighted.


• Summer programs must serve a minimum of 8 youth during each activity day. The age range is flexible, but historically has included early childhood to middle school-aged youth.
• Summer programs must be in session for a minimum of 4 consecutive weeks. Start and end dates are flexible.
• Summer programs must meet for a minimum of 6 hours a week. Scheduled week days and start/end times are flexible.
• Summer programs must strive to incorporate and meet the Gardens for Learning educational standards in hands-on gardening, nutrition, and cooking. See grant program description for more details.
• At least 1 staff member (the Site Coordinator and/or Project Assistant) from each site receiving funding is required to attend the Spring and Fall Retreats. Each site will receive a $40 travel stipend for attendance to each retreat. Please see the Grant Award Timeline to consult the exact date and location of each retreat.
• Grant recipient sites must fully document their program using Weekly Program Report forms.
• Grant recipient sites must provide a complete Final Program Report and submit it by the deadline. The report includes the expense summary, parent surveys, photographs, a sample activity plan and recipe, and a Site Coordinator final reflection.

** Please note that in addition to this application form, a BUDGET PROPOSAL must also be submitted by email.  To access the Budget Proposal template, please visit: (scroll down to the "Application" section) or contact

Application deadline: Friday, February 17, 2017

IMPORTANT: If you are unable to fill out the full application form in one sitting, do not worry! - Your information will be saved and you can re-visit your application ONLY if you try to access it from the same computer on which you began the application.  Otherwise, you will have to start from scratch.

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