Public Info

82 Schools and Organizations Receive 2019 Union County Kids Dig In! Garden Grants

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.

Union County, NJ – The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce that grants have been awarded to 82 garden projects in 16 municipalities through the Union County Kids Dig In! school garden grant program.

“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.

“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 Preparatory 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
Christian Bollwage Finance Academy

Garwood Lincoln School

Walter O’ Krumbiegel MS
Hillside High School
George Washington School
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

Quick links to all Union County environmental programs, activities and services are available through The Green Connection,

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