Wisconsin School Garden Day:
May 23, 2019
Dear Network,

We are so thrilled that Governor Tony Evers has declared May 23, 2019 the very first Wisconsin School Garden Day.

Wisconsin School Garden Day celebrates youth gardens at schools, early care and education sites, community centers, nonprofit organizations, nature centers, and all sites that support a garden for kids.

Wisconsin School Garden Day honors educators, students, families, community leaders, and all people who have made garden-based education a reality and an asset in their schools and communities throughout the state.

Garden-based education doesn’t just happen. It requires a lot of work, commitment, and support from the community. This day shines a light on the hard work that goes into these programs and on the unparalleled educational opportunities they provide our youth.

We at the Wisconsin School Garden Network want to say a heartfelt thank all of you who have made Wisconsin a leader in garden-based education.

Over the past few weeks, we've been hearing about all the exciting activities that educators across the state have planned in celebration of Wisconsin School Garden Day. You can read about some of these activities here.

You can participate in Wisconsin School Garden Day by engaging in some type of garden-based education activity or celebration on May 23, 2019 (or another day that week) in solidarity with youth garden programs across the state.

Whether your youth garden program consists of a half acre of raised beds, some potted herbs, or seeds germinating on a countertop, you can participate in Wisconsin School Garden Day. If you are looking for activity or lesson suggestions for kids of any age, check out our activity guide.

We can't wait to hear about your Wisconsin School Garden Day celebration! Tell Wisconsin's school garden community on our Facebook page or Twitter using the hashtag #WISchoolGardenDay.

In this month's newsletter, you'll find information about all of the free resources that the Wisconsin School Garden Network offers educators to help you establish, maintain, and sustain your beautiful gardens and programs.

-Renata, Wisconsin School Garden Network Communications Director


Searchable Resource Library

The Wisconsin School Garden Network resource library is a compilation of some of the best free garden-based education resources available online. From how to start, maintain, and sustain a garden to curricular guides that connect with Next Generation Science Standards, this library is a like a search engine for youth gardens!

Funding Opportunities

Here you will find links to grants related to garden-based education. Many garden programs have also found funding by applying for small grants from local organizations, so be sure to check in with local non-profits and small businesses in your area.

While grants are a popular and effective way to provide funding for school garden programs, they are certainly not the only way. Take a look at our Funding Your School Garden Program brief for more ideas on how to fund your school garden.

Your Stories

Each garden is full of stories. These stories inspire and unite us, and help the school garden movement in Wisconsin continue to grow. Here you will find two types of stories: feature-length stories highlighting successes and struggles of a wide array of garden-based education programs across Wisconsin, and Story Bites that provide tidbits from Wisconsin gardens. We hope they serve as a web of inspiration and resources from garden to garden and city to city.

Past Newsletters

If you're looking for multiple resources on a given topic, you might have good luck browsing our past newsletters. We've covered a wide range of topics, from starting seeds in the classroom to building a community around your garden to math and science lessons. Each newsletter has six resources related to the topic.

Technical Assistance

We offer free technical assistance for your garden program. We answer your questions (or find someone who can!) about garden design, curricula, making connections, plant problems, and more! Get in touch with your Regional Coordinator or other Wisconsin School Garden Network staff member. We're here to help!

Workshops & Events

We offer free school garden workshops at schools, community centers, and non-profit sites around Wisconsin. Here you will find information about upcoming Wisconsin School Garden Network workshops, as well as other events around the state related to garden-based education.

News & Announcements

Caption Contest Winner!

“All you lazy seeds, rise up and grow! We will no longer be eaten by the the human overloads!” - Nikki Jedlicka Halverson, Spooner School District
MAY 23, 2019

May 23, 2019 will be the first Wisconsin School Garden Day, a day to celebrate youth gardens and all of the amazing people who make them possible!
Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates and suggestions on how you can participate in Wisconsin School Garden Day. You can find an activity guide and more information here on our website.
Free & Discounted Seeds for Youth Programs

Many of you have asked where you can find free and discounted seeds for your program, so we compiled some well known options into a handy document for you. These suggestions are not location-specific, so be sure to check out local nonprofits and gardening stores for seeds, as well!

Upcoming Workshops & Events
(Visit our workshops & events page for more! Have an event to share? Email us!)

WEBINAR: The Therapeutic Value of Gardening for Children
May 15, 2019, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.
This webinar will focus on the many therapeutic benefits of sensory gardens and sensory-based activities in early childhood settings and provide examples of programs who have successfully used them to promote social and emotional well being of all children. Register here!

27th Annual Children and Youth Garden Symposium
July 10-13, 2019, Madison, WI
The 2019 event will take place July 10-13 in Madison, Wisconsin, hosted by Community Groundworks, the University of Wisconsin’s Environmental Design Lab, and the Wisconsin School Garden Network. At the core of the symposium are peer-led educational sessions that focus on relevant, thought-provoking topics, provide attendees with practical knowledge and skills, and appeal to attendees representing a variety of experience levels, educational settings, and youth audiences. Learn more here!

Grant & Funding Opportunities 
(Visit our grants page for more!)

Free Milkweed Plants for Schools & Nonprofits

If your school or non-profit educational organization is interested in this conservation measure, can help you create a habitat for monarchs and pollinators. You can learn more here.

Please apply using this form:

Tasty Tidbits ... of wisdom, fun, and information

We Have Updated Our Map! 
The Wisconsin School Garden Network Map is a great way to find programs in your area and across the state. If you're looking for a specific program, you can type the name in the search bar at the top. Many programs on our map also list contact information to help you connect with your peers. View the new map.


Garden Joke of the Month
What does a nosey pepper do?

Have you visited the Wisconsin School Garden Network Map recently? There are hundreds of youth garden education programs across the state, and the map is growing every week.
Visit the Wisconsin School Garden Network Map to find programs near you and to connect with educators in your area. And don't forget to add your program!

What We've Been Up To

Wisconsin School Garden Network staff spent a truly inspiring day at the healthTIDE Wavemakers Summit in Madison. We learned so much from Andre Lee Ellis (far left) of We Got This Milwaukee who delivered a beautiful keynote address on the power of authentic community engagement. 

We Got This is a program based out of Milwaukee, WI. Started on 9th and Ring, this program began with a crew of young boys cleaning up their neighborhood and learning about gardening. The program grew each Saturday as boys came out to assist in duties and were each subsequently paid 20 dollars for their efforts. The program has continued to grow and each week during the summer young boys continue to make their way to 9th and Ring for cleanup and gardening.

Every garden is ripe with stories.  Maybe it is one about the day the first shovel-full of soil was turned over and the garden was underway.  Or about that time a brave rabbit dared to sample lettuce amidst a class of kindergartners partaking in a garden lesson. Each story has the potential to connect others with your garden program. Send us your story idea, or read our garden storytelling brief for tips on collecting and sharing thestories that make your garden program so special.  

Getting Started with School Gardens

Just starting a school garden? We're here to help. Check out these free resources, developed right in Wisconsin. Or, send us an email with your questions! 

Got Dirt? Garden Toolkit: Simple, step-by-step guide for starting a school garden
Got Veggies? Nutrition Education Curriculum: Aligned with state standards
Cultivating Childhood Wellness through Gardening Free online training with chapters on planning, planting, growing, and harvesting a garden with kids. Approved for continuing education hours for child care providers (1.5 hours of Registry credit).

Want to see the Wisconsin School Garden Newsletter each month?   Subscribing is a great first step to getting involved. Help grow the Network by passing this newsletter along to a friend! If you're already subscribed, don't worry - you can't double-book yourself on the Network list.
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