School gardens can be a great way for students to learn about sustainability as well as the life cyle of plants. From composting lunch scraps to weeding and watering, the work necessary to maintain a garden is rewarding and educational.

The Arkansas Agriculture Department and Farm Credit's sixth annual Arkansas Arkansas Grown School Garden of the Year Contest inivites schools with a garden and those planning to create one to enter the competition with cash prizes from $500-$1,000 up for grabs. Entry forms are available here.

Applicants may be any Arkansas school, grades pre-K through 12, that had a school garden open during the 2018-2019 school year, or any schools planning to start a garden in the 2019-2020 school year. 

Entries will be judged by a committee in the categories below. All school applicants except those applying for the school garden start up category will be required to provide photos or video documentation of garden activities and progress. The deadline for submissions is Aug. 30.

Farm Credit is providing funds for winners in the following award categories:

  • Best School Garden Start-Up Proposal - $500
  • Best Nutrition Education Based Garden - $500
  • Best Community Collaboration Garden - $500
  • Best Environmental Education Focused Garden - $500
  • Overall Winning Arkansas Grown School Garden of the Year - $1,000

Arkansas Grown is a program of the Arkansas Agriculture Department and promotes food and products grown in Arkansas by Arkansas producers, and helps make the connection between growers and buyers. Visit the Arkansas Agriculture Department website for online entry forms, program requirements and more information on the contest.