11 Schools Receive Funds to Support School Garden Projects across Central Oregon


(Madras Community Garden | Photo courtesy of The Environmental Center)

The Environmental Center is thrilled to award over $17,500 to 11 schools to support garden-based education and outdoor classroom projects across Central Oregon this year! Projects range from starting new outdoor school gardens and improving existing garden infrastructure to unique student groups revitalizing school and community garden spaces.

“In an effort to remove barriers and gauge a bigger perspective of our regional school garden funding needs, we decided to remove minimum and maximum funding limits,” says Denise Rowcroft, Garden For Every School program manager with The Environmental Center. “As a result, our awards ranged from $100 for a classroom growing kit to $4,000 for a new outdoor school garden. Total funds requested amounted to almost $68,000 from 20 different schools and organizations, illustrating the desire and need is there and continues to grow regionally.”

Recipient schools will collectively serve over 1,350 youth in school garden projects in four school districts across Central Oregon, and include:

  • Jefferson County Middle School, Madras: Classroom mushroom growing kits.
  • Madras High School Environmental Club, Madras: Revive Madras Community Garden.
  • Barnes Butte Elementary School, Prineville: Material to build a new outdoor school garden, in collaboration with Think Wild.
  • Redmond Proficiency Academy, Redmond: Classroom growing experiment supplies.
  • StepUp at Edwin Brown Education Center, Redmond: Greenhouse upkeep supplies.
  • Realms High School, Bend: Improvements to existing outdoor space.
  • Bend Senior High School/Life Skills and Environmental Club, Bend: Greenhouse supplies and pollinator plant distribution project.
  • Bear Creek Elementary School, Bend: Outdoor school garden revitalization supplies.
  • Miller Elementary School, Bend: Fence to protect future outdoor school garden space.
  • Elk Meadow Elementary School, Bend: Irrigation extended to fruit trees.
  • Three Rivers K-8 School, Sunriver: Greenhouse upkeep supplies.

Since 2017 The Environmental Center has raised and awarded over $106,000 to support local schools and community organizations in their garden-based learning efforts. These garden grants would not be possible without the support of individual donors, local and regional businesses, foundations and non-profit organizations. Thanks to support from all of our Garden for Every School supporters: Central Electric Cooperative, Central Oregon Beekeepers Association, Central Oregon Health Council, Central Oregon Radiology Associates, El Sancho, Ford Family Foundation, Gray Family Foundation, Marie Lamfrom Foundation, New Sun Energy, Oregon Farm to School & School Garden Network, Pacific Power, Saginaw Sunset, Savory Spice Bend, Starseed Foundation and The Roundhouse Foundation.

The goal of The Environmental Center’s Garden Grant program is to provide local funding for public and private schools in Central Oregon to start, expand, improve or support a new or existing garden or outdoor classroom.  This garden grant program is one strategy in our Garden for Every School program. We also organize a local Garden Educator Network, provide technical assistance to schools, work directly to connect kids to healthy food in schools with FoodCorps and operate our own Kansas Avenue Learning Garden.

About Garden for Every School:
The Environmental Center’s Garden for Every School program exists to connect youth to nature through food. We do this through garden and food based education in the classroom, cafeteria, school gardens and field trips. We support youth organizations, schools and districts with annual garden grants and on-going technical assistance. Since 2017, we have awarded over $84,000 in garden grants to projects at 40+ different schools or organizations. We also gather educators through our Garden Educator Network school garden tours and workshops. Finally, we operate our on-site school demonstration garden, the Kansas Avenue Learning Garden.

About The Environmental Center:
The Environmental Center’s mission is to embed sustainability into daily life in Central Oregon. We translate sustainability into practical, local action in order to create a healthy future for people and the planet. We are focused on building community, educating kids, revolutionizing energy, rethinking waste and advocating for change. Learn more at our facility at 16 NW Kansas Ave. in downtown Bend or visit our website.



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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. CascadeBusNews.com • CBN@CascadeBusNews.com

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