Nature Works Everywhere to Get Your K-12 Garden Growing

Nature Works Everywhere was established as an offshoot of The Nature Conservancy, with a mission “to help students learn the science behind how nature works for us—and how we can help keep it running strong.” 

This focus includes a grant program, aptly called the Nature Works Everywhere Garden Grants, which help fund the creation, improvement, or revitalization of school gardens. The program funds public and charter elementary, middle, and high schools anywhere in the U.S. For the 2015/16 school year it gave out 50 grant recipients spanning 15 states.

The cash payout ($1,000-$2,000) is modest, but it’s also just part of the grant award. The program also includes year-long educational webinars, curriculum materials and a digital tablet (such as an iPad or a Kindle Fire). There is a rigorous education mindset here: the funder views the program as “a living learning laboratory for environmental science education.”

There is also an environmental movement mindset, as befits a funder overseen by The Nature Conservancy. In fact, that organization's Director of Youth Engagement Programs says of this grant program:

For our planet to prosper in the future, we need to ensure that we’re empowering young conservationists today. Building gardens gives students, teachers and community volunteers the opportunity to come together and take action to address environmental issues that affect them right in their own neighborhoods.

Nature Works Everywhere does get specific about its gardens, and has a preference for “green infrastructure,” funding “rain, pollinator, native habitat, and other natural infrastructure projects,” though it will also support food gardens.

The online application is due at the end of October.