The state Department of Agriculture recently announced its new Arkansas School Garden Grant Program to help schools start or expand gardens on school grounds.

The department will award $500 grants to 40 schools to purchase soil, specialty crop seeds and plants, and gardening equipment, and will provide technical assistance to grantees upon request.

Applications will be accepted through November 30, 2020 and can be found HERE

“School gardens provide a hands-on opportunity for children to learn about Arkansas agriculture and where their food comes from,” said Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward. “The lessons learned through school gardens have a lasting impact on children, their families, and entire communities.”

The grant program is available to public and private K-12 schools, early childhood education facilities, and alternative learning environments. All eligible schools are encouraged to apply, whether they are just getting started with a garden or have had a garden program for many years.

The grant program was developed with funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program to increase the production of specialty crops in school gardens. Specialty crops are defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops, including floriculture.

More information about the Arkansas School Garden Grant Program can be found HERE or by contacting Hanna Davis at [email protected]