UNION COUNTY, NJ - The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders has announced grants to be awarded to 82 garden projects in 16 municipalities through the Union County Kids Dig In! school garden grant program. In Roselle, Grace Wilday Junior High, Washington Elementary School, and Leonard V. Moore Middle School will receive the grants.

“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 the produce grown will be donated to a 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:

Clark 

Valley Road School

Mother Seton Regional High School

Cranford

Walnut Avenue School

Lincoln School

Elizabeth       

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       

Garwood Lincoln School

Hillside           

Walter O' Krumbiegel MS

Hillside High School

George Washington School

A. P. Morris Early Childhood Center

Calvin Coolidge School

Hurden Looker School

Kenilworth    

Saint Theresa School

Linden           

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       

Plainfield Academy of Arts & Advanced Study

Emerson Community School – 2 applications

Cedarbrook Community School

Evergreen School

Jefferson School

Rahway         

Rahway High School

Madison School

Grover Cleveland Elementary School

Rahway High School Alternative Center

Roselle           

Grace Wilday Junior

Washington Elementary School

Leonard V. Moore Middle School

Scotch Plains 

William J. McGinn Elementary School

Springfield    

Jonathan Dayton High School

Edward V. Walton Early Childhood Center

Union 

Battle Hill Elementary School

Westfield

Jefferson Elementary School

McKinley Elementary School

Tamaques School

Crossroads School

Westfield YMCA Preschool/Kindergarten

Westlake School

Winfield        

Winfield School

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

Quick links to all Union County environmental programs, activities, and services are available through The Green Connection, ucnj.org/green-connection.

For all Union County programs and services visit ucnj.org, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email info@ucnj.org or use the online Contact Form.

Photo caption: Union County Freeholder Chair Bette Jane Kowlaski (3rd from left)  joined Vice Chairman Alexander Mirabella, and Freeholders Rebecca Williams and Sergio Granados (l. to r.), to welcome 82 schools and organizations that received garden grants from the 2019 Union County Kids Dig In program on May 7. Credit: James Lowney/County of Union.

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