Earth Day, celebrated annually on April 22, is around the corner. If you’re looking for resources to incorporate gardening in a spring service project, we have you covered. Through hands-on gardening experiences, educational resources and support for educators and families, the nonprofit KidsGardening helps others experience a love for gardening. Established in 1982, this Kiwanis International partner promotes the importance of gardening with youth.

“KidsGardening offers high-quality original educational resources for educators to use to teach gardening. We also offer grants to anyone who wants to garden with kids — whether that’s through their community or school,” says Em Shipman, executive director of KidsGardening. “And in 2021 we launched the Kids Garden Community for those who garden with kids to come together to share their learnings and ask each other questions.”  

We asked Shipman to tell us more about KidsGardening. 

What free resources does KidsGardening provide to schools and families for things they can do as service activities during the gardening season and in winter months when students are inside?
“KidsGardening has hundreds of activities and lesson plans, and anyone can download them for free at We have resources for kids of all ages and cover most topics you can think of. They range from easy indoor activities to do for 30 minutes around the kitchen table to high school-level soil science curriculum projects and everything in between.”

What grant opportunities can clubs take part in and what is the time of year to apply?
“We have several grant programs. The time to be on the lookout to apply for grants would be fall, winter and spring, but we have summer grants as well.”  

Check out KidsGardening grant opportunities, including the 2024 Lots of Compassion grant with applications opening April 12 and closing June 30. Your club can apply for this grant if you partner with your Kiwanis club or another nonprofit organization to convert a vacant lot into a garden in your community. 

Also consider working with your sponsoring Kiwanis club to submit a grant application this spring or summer to the Kiwanis Children’s Fund for a gardening or other service project that you will do together next year. Deadlines for an initial Letter of Inquiry to be considered for a Club Grant are April 1 and November 1 each year. Microgrants are also available for small Kiwanis clubs from October 1 through July 1. The Kiwanis club would apply for these grants and receive the funds for the project. Find details about grants at