MMS awarded garden grant
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is pleased to announce that Monticello Middle School along with 51 other schools across Arkansas have been approved for funding through the Arkansas School Garden Grant Program. Each of the schools will receive a $500 grant to be used for starting or expanding gardens on school grounds.
“School gardens provide a hands-on opportunity for children to learn about Arkansas agriculture and where their food comes from. The lessons learned through school gardens have a lasting impact on children, their families, and entire communities,” said Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward.
Schools may use the funding to purchase soil, specialty crop seeds and plants, and gardening equipment. In addition to the funding, the Department’s Farm to School and Early Childhood Education program staff will provide technical assistance to schools upon request. Public and private K-12 schools, early care and education facilities, and alternative learning environments were eligible to apply for the funding.
“We look forward to working with the schools on their garden projects so many more Arkansas students can benefit from garden-based education,” said Sarah Lane, Farm to School and Early Childhood Education Program coordinator.
Funding for the Arkansas School Garden Grant Program is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Specialty Crop Block Grant Program that was developed to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. The USDA defines specialty crops as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops.