Scotts Miracle-Gro Aims to Connect Children to Gardens and Greenspaces
The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company has launched Gro More Good, a national initiative that is designed to bring the benefits of gardens and greenspaces to 10 million children over the next five years.
Scotts Miracle-Gro is partnering with leading not-for-profit organizations and other partners across the U.S. as part of the initiative to combat pressing challenges facing today’s youth, improving children’s access to fresh food, and increasing their time spent outdoors connected to nature.
“It’s important we provide as many opportunities as possible for children to connect with the natural world around them,” says Jim Hagedorn, Chairman and CEO of ScottsMiracle-Gro. “As children spend less time outside and have less understanding of where their food comes from, we have an obligation to help reconnect children to gardening and the outdoors for their positive growth and well-being.”
Supporting more youth garden and greenspace development comes at a critical time when challenges facing today’s youngest generation are significant, and problems with children’s physical, mental and social health are on the rise. However, ScottsMiracle-Gro’s work with communities over the past decade confirms that gardening and outdoor play provides a wide range of health benefits for children. These benefits include increased emotional well-being, increased consumption of fruits and vegetables, more physical activity, improved relationships, and better academic performance.
Over the next five years, ScottsMiracle-Gro and the Foundation will provide monetary grants, educational curriculum, and training to communities across the U.S. in collaboration with its Gro More Good partners, all with the goal of creating more gardens, greenspaces, and refurbished outdoor play spaces for children.
Gro More Good is The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company’s latest iteration of garden and greenspace community outreach programming. Previously, ScottsMiracle-Gro and the Foundation supported the creation of 1,000 community gardens and public greenspaces in every state across the U.S. The GRO1000 program, which culminated in 2018 with the planting of the thousandth garden, enabled ScottsMiracle-Gro to see firsthand the positive effects that gardens and greenspaces can have on communities, and even more so, children’s lives.
“Gardens not only have the unique ability to feed children’s bodies, minds, and spirits, they give kids the chance to be a part of something bigger than themselves,” said Jim King, president of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation. “Our work with communities over the past decade confirmed to us the importance of connecting more children to gardens and greenspaces and the meaningful experiences they produce.”
Key partners in the Gro More Good initiative include:
• Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens provides world-class natural experiences for all ages. The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation Children’s Garden at the Conservatory is an award-winning, 2-acre immersive experience for children with 16 different garden galleries nurturing creativity, hands-on exploration and unstructured play.
• KidsGardening has led the school garden movement since 1982 by providing educational curriculum and resources for garden-based learning. The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation has partnered with KidsGardening to provide funding for 175 grants to school and community gardens each year.
• Major League Baseball encourages young people to participate in baseball- or softball-related activities of all forms. In an effort to make sure kids have a safe place to play in communities across the U.S., Scotts and MLB created the Scotts Field Refurbishment Program where grants are awarded to youth-based nonprofit organizations to give kids a modern, playable ball field.
• National Farm to School Network advocates for increased local food and nutrition education in schools and early care and education settings to improve children’s health. The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation will work with the National Farm to School Network and Hawthorne Gardening Company to expand STEM-aligned hydroponic gardening to more underserved schools across the U.S.
• National Head Start Association serves as the voice for one million at-risk Head Start children, staff and grantees across the country. The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation has partnered with National Head Start Association to increase edible gardens and hands-on garden education at Head Starts nationwide.
• National Recreation and Park Association is the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of public parks, recreation and conservation. Through the Parks for Pollinators program, National Recreation and Park Association is connecting children to pollinator-friendly spaces and hands-on education in local parks around the country.
• No Kid Hungry works to end childhood hunger through effective programs that provide kids with the food they need. The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation will work with No Kid Hungry to provide up to 4.5 million nutritious meals to children in the next three years. Together, they will also utilize indoor gardening methods to add more fresh food to children’s meals at partner organizations across the country.
“We’re passionate about the partnerships we’ve built to connect millions of children to the benefits of gardens and greenspaces over the next five years,” says King. “We believe our work with these organizations will grow much more than gardens. It will grow hope, positive attitudes and better futures. It will grow the next generation of healthy adults and nurturers for this Earth.”
To learn more about the Gro More Good initiative, visit www.GroMoreGood.org.