Water, our most precious natural resource, is critical to all living things, including lawns and gardens. However, from pollution to over usage, this essential resource has faced severe threats to its existence and ability to care for our most basic needs. This is why, as part of our commitment to GroMoreGood, we partner with the Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the efficient and sustainable use of water, to educate the next generation of water consumers on the importance of water conservation.
Creating hands-on spaces for learning
The partnership between ScottsMiracle-Gro and AWE dates back to 2015. However, this year, we are supporting AWE’s new Learning Landscapes Grant Program, an initiative that provides funding and educational resources for the creation or improvement of educational outdoor gardens and greenspaces. These spaces enable students (grades 3-8) to experience hands-on learning about the water our communities consume.
Grant winners are awarded $5,000 to execute their projects, which include elements of efficient water management, an outdoor educational space and a plan for ongoing maintenance of the garden or greenspace beyond the project.
Making water education more available for everyone
Each grantee also will incorporate a different aspect of water conservation education into their outdoor space, including lesson plans on water distribution, how water is affected by climate and weather and water’s impact on plants and wildlife. The lessons were developed by AWE in alignment with The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). And the good news is that these lesson plans are available to everyone, not just the Learning Landscape program grantees. If you are interested in accessing the free outdoor water efficiency and conservation lessons, you can get more information here.
Continuing the work in 2021
After receiving 275 inquiries this year, eight organizations were awarded grants and plan to apply their awarded funds in meaningful ways. For example, one grantee in the Denver area will use their funds to create an outdoor garden, not only as an educational space, but as a food source for children in the local community. We will continue supporting AWE’s Learning Landscapes grant program in 2021, with the hopes of reaching more students with critical water stewardship education.
“Working with a company like ScottsMiracle-Gro is really foundational in moving our mission forward,” said Bill Christiansen, Director of Programs at AWE. “They have such a large and positive impact on the community and environment, and without ScottsMiracle-Gro’s support, this program would simply not be possible.”