UNION COUNTY, NJ - The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders announced that grants have been awarded to 82 garden projects in 16 municipalities through the Union County Kids Dig In! school garden grant program. Linden Public schools had eight schools which will recieve the funding.

“School gardens support collaborative learning and teamwork throughout the school community, including students, teachers, school staff, parents and neighborhood residents,” said Freeholder Chair Bette Jane Kowalski. “It is wonderful to see educators in Union County embrace the Kids Dig In grant program enthusiastically, and help instill respect for the Earth in the youth of our community.”

Schools with students in grades pre-K through 12 were eligible to apply for a Union County Kids Dig In grant. The grant program is part of the Union County Plant a Seed initiative for community service, education and environmental stewardship launched by Freeholder Sergio Granados when he served as Chairman in 2017.

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“I am passionate about doing all we can for the youth of our county. I encourage students, school staff and parents to grow healthy produce for students at their own schools. Providing teachers with the tools necessary to expand educational opportunities is important, and this grant has exceeded expectations. Through this initiative that I created in 2017, we have awarded over 175 garden grants to schools throughout Union County, and introduced healthy food choices to thousands of children,” said Freeholder Granados. “To help teach our youth about donating to others, a portion of produce grown will be donated to soup kitchen, food pantries and those in need.”

The grant program covers produce gardens including vegetables, fruits, nuts, berries, herbs and spices, pollinator-attracting plants and plants for pest management. It does not cover ornamental plants or non-producing gardens.

Gardens must agree to set aside 30% of their harvest for community donation and enroll in Come Grow With Us!, a free countywide information and resource sharing network for community gardens run by the nonprofit organization Groundwork Elizabeth, which administers the Kids Dig In and the Union County Means Green community garden grant programs on behalf of the Freeholder Board.

This year Kids Dig In awarded grants for starting new gardens, including a choice of raised beds or Earth Boxes along with tools and equipment, as well as improvements for existing gardens.

The 2019 awardees are:


Valley Road School

Mother Seton Regional High School



Walnut Avenue School

Lincoln School



Joseph Battin School # 4

Abraham Lincoln #14

William F. Halloran # 22

George Washington Academy # 1

Winfield Scott School # 2

Nicolas S. LaCorte # 3

Mabel G. Holmes # 5

Mabel G. Holmes Annex

Toussant L. Ouverture  # 6

Terence C. Reilly # 7

iPrep Academy # 8

Jerome Dunn Academy # 9

Elmora School # 12

Benjamin Franklin School # 13

Abraham Lincoln School Annex

Christopher Columbus #  15

Madison Monroe # 16

Robert Morris School # 18

Woodrow Wilson School # 19

John Marshall # 20

Victor Mravlag # 21

Nicholas M. Butler # 23

School # 25

Dr. Orlando Edreira Academy # 26

Dr. Antonia Pantoja # 27

Juan Pablo Duarte-Jose Julian Marti # 28

Dr. Albert Einstein Academy # 29

Ronald Reagan Academy

Frances C. Smith # 50

Donald Stewart Center Early Childhood

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. # 52

Alexander Hamilton Prepartory Academy

John E. Dwyer Technology Academy

John E. Dwyer Annex

William F. Halsey Academy

Thomas Jefferson Arts Academy

Thomas A Edison Career & Technical

Elizabeth High School # 89 FJCA

J. Christian Bollwage Finance Academy



Garwood Lincoln School



Walter O' Krumbiegel MS

Hillside High School

George Washington School

A. P. Morris Early Childhood Center

Calvin Coolidge School

Hurden Looker School



Saint Theresa School



Highland Avenue School # 10

Linden High School Academy of Excellence

School #4

School # 8

Public School # 2

Linden School 1

Elementary School Five

Myles J. McManus Middle School


New Providence       

Morris-Union Jointure Commission



Plainfield Academy of Arts & Advanced Study

Emerson Community School – 2 applications

Cedarbrook Community School

Evergreen School

Jefferson School



Rahway High School

Madison School

Grover Cleveland Elementary School

Rahway High School Alternative Center



Grace Wilday Junior

Washington Elementary School

Leonard V. Moore Middle School


Scotch Plains 

William J. McGinn Elementary School



Jonathan Dayton High School

Edward V. Walton Early Childhood Center



Battle Hill Elementary School



Jefferson Elementary School

McKinley Elementary School

Tamaques School

Crossroads School

Westfield YMCA Preschool/Kindergarten

Westlake School



Winfield School


For more information about Groundwork Elizabeth visit online at groundworkelizabeth.org.

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