For I n December, they launched a two-tiered grant competition. Only for Los Angeles schools. All consequently to help students benefit from shared urban garden experiences. As well as inspire them to take action. All on behalf of nature. So this year’s winners include:
$5000 EMA School Garden Grant Winner
Carthay Environmental Studies Magnet
$1000 EMA School Garden Grant Winners
University High School
Playa Del Rey Elementary
Westminster Elementary Math & Technology/Environmental Magnet
“We are overjoyed to receive this grant, which will bring Carthay students environmental education and interactions to the next level,” said Caterina Mercante, PTA President of Carthay Environmental Studies Magnet, in response to the school taking home the top prize. “The EMA grant funds allow us to expand native pollinator gardens and provide interactive experiences. All which will be accessible to all students throughout the school day. Through the creation of Wildlife Gardening Stations, students will have daily opportunities. All to enhance their observation skills as they study butterflies, silkworms, bees, birds, bats and other insects.”
All Los Angeles schools (ranging from the kindergarten to high school level) that were active in the EMA Garden Program were eligible to participate in the competition. Schools were evaluated based on their existing or planned garden site, strength of student, parent and staff involvement, and how their garden is utilized to enhance education. Submissions were also first reviewed by EMA and then the top applicants were sent to a panel of three judges for further assessment. So the Judges included EMA Board members. They wereAmy Smart, Lance BassandJennifer Nickerson. Finally City National Bank’s corporate citizenship manager also was part of the team.
“I chose Carthay Elementary as the recipient for the $5,000 grant. That’s because they are going to use the money to create new habitat stations for wildlife. I mean including bees which are so incredibly vital for everything! I chose Westminster Elementary as the recipient for the $1,000 grant because it is a predominately low-income community of students. Having a garden teaches them about clean and healthy food and provides the children with the skills to be able to not only implement a school garden but take those skills and bring them home. They also have an All-School garden salad day which is a really nice way to provide lunch to the students who cannot afford it,” said Lance Bass, Co-Chair of the EMA Executive Board.