GROW Garden Pilot: Apply Now!

This year 5 MMSD schools [3 Elementary and 2 Middle] will have the opportunity to build their school garden programs. 

Participating schools will receive support to establish a school-based leadership team to:

(1) integrate the garden into core learning subjects,
(2) build community engagement in the garden, and
(3) build new or enhance existing gardens to serve as a school and community space for

Support will include:

* Extended employment to participating teachers.
* Facilitation of a garden design gathering, support in community engagement,
and installation / enhancement of the garden.
* Substantial technical and material assistance ($8,000 value) for the
garden build/expansion and coordination of the Build event


Email to notify us of your intent to apply by
   September 19th.

* Start putting together your leadership team right away as you will
need to work together to complete the application

* Attend an optional grant Information Session:

Monday, September 17th or
Tuesday, September 18th

from 4:00-5:00 p.m. in Room 100A, Doyle Administration Building

* Complete the application and submit a hard copy to Lisa Wachtel, Room 125,
Doyle Administration Building AND email the application to
by 5:00pm on October 5th, 2012.

DOWNLOADGROW Schools Application 2012-13


Don’t forget! GROW Coalition GARDEN MOB Tomorrow!

  • Friday, August 17, 4:30-6:30pm
  • Sherman Middle School
  • 1610 Ruskin Street, Madison, WI 53704
  • Meet others involved in school garden projects, and learn about great youth garden activities!

And check out these great August 2012 articles:

New grant will energize garden-based learning in schools

Check out the Madison Metropolitan School District’s short video sharing the news of the new grant! Many thanks to the Madison Community Foundation for recognizing the collective potential of the GROW Coalition and the many benefits incorporating garden-based learning into the curriculum.

For information about the initiative, contact Rachel Martin at Sustain Dane, (Rachel [at] sustaindane [dot] org.

Major grant will boost garden-based learning in area schools

The Madison Community Foundation has announced a $350,000 award to support outdoor, garden-based learning in over a dozen Dane County schools over the next three years.  The grant will fund the work of the GrassRoots/OutdoorWonder (GROW) Coalition – a group of organizations working to support outdoor learning opportunities in our community by creating a network of resources and a unified voice for advocacy.

The Coalition member organizations – the Madison Metropolitan School District, Community GroundWorks, the Community Action Coalition and UW-Extension – plan to work with 15 elementary and middle schools (5 schools per year) within and outside of MMSD to foster garden design and installation, engage communities to maintain gardens, and provide professional development for teachers interested in using gardens as vehicles for learning.

Over the summer, the Coalition will be developing a process for selecting pilot school sites; during Year One all participating schools will be selected from the Madison Metropolitan School District.  Schools from other Districts will be eligible to participate in Years Two and Three.

For more information please contact:   Rachel Martin, Project Manager –

Youth Gardening Gets Boost from Willy Street Co-op Reinvestment Fund

Congratulations to all the youth garden projects funded through Willy Street Co-op ‘s most excellent Community Reinvestment Fund!

Grantees include

  • Leopold Elementary
  • Community Groundworks
  • The Front Yard Gardens project
  • The Goodman Community Center
  • Growing Food and Sustainability (Middleton)
  • Muir Elementary
  • Kennedy Heights Community Center
  • Lakeview Elementary
  • Lincoln Elementary
  • Lowell Elementary
  • Neighborhood House
  • Sherman Middle School
  • Slow Food UW/Boys & Girls Club
  • Whitehorse Middle School
  • Youth Services of Southern Wisconsin.

Stories wanted

Do you have an inspirational outdoor learning story to share? We’re looking for yours! We are especially interested in stories from youth, parents and teachers. Take just a few

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minutes to tell us about something inspiring that happened this year. This is NOT a contest. It’s a way to capture outdoor learning taking place around Madison.

Did you witness something touching? A discovery? Kids eating something new? A breakthrough in learning? An unexpected moment of peace? Friendships fostered in the outdoors? Or simply something funny? You may have seen changes in your own teaching choices, or noticed simple strategies to help kids use garden spaces to calm themselves.

We’ll include your story in a compilation of story shorts featured right here on the GROW web site. One story a week will be featured on our Facebook page throughout the Fall of 2012. If you have digital photos, even better. Be sure to include the location of the story (where the outing took place). If you send us photos of youth, send us a scanned copy of your organization’s photo release. Or, we’ll need to send you a GROW photo release that you’ll have to have their parents sign and send to us.

Send your story in an email message, up to 500 words, and your picture(s) (up to 3 digital photos) to the Madison Grow Coalition. In the Subject line, please list STORIES.

Our email address:

That’s madisongrowcoalition [at] yahoo [dot] com.Deadline: July 31, 2012.


Events this weekend: Get outside!

Some great, “groundbreaking” events are happening this weekend…get the kids outside! If you have something to add to our calendar, drop us a line:

Meadowood Front Yard Garden Initiative, May 12, 10am – 4pm. Want to learn how to transform a piece of lawn into a vibrant community resource? See it in action, live, and in person. You won’t be disappointed. (This is the rain date–last weekend’s plan was nixed by weather.)

UW’s Family Gardening Day: A wealth of activities for families on the UW Campus.

Plant sales:

Near west: Midvale Elementary Plant Sale: Saturday, May 12, 9am – 1pm. 502 Carimar Drive (in back  of Midvale School–the east side of the school). Sponsored by the Healthy Lawn Team and the Midvale School and Community Gardens.

North side: Community Groundworks at Troy Gardens Plant Sale. 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM at Troy Gardens, 502 Troy Drive.