As part of Weather Underground's ever-growing garden section, we plan on handing out a new weather station and starter garden kit to a deserving K-12 school once per month.
Here is how it will work:
1) If a student, educator, or administrator feels their school is deserving of a new weather station, capable of uploading weather information to our vast Personal Weather Station network, along with a gardening starter kit, then all they have to do is send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following:
a) Name of the school, city, stage, grade range, and school size
b) Reason school deserves a new weather station and gardening kit. This should include potential uses for a new garden in the school as well as potential locations for the weather station. The most qualified applicants will include pictures of potential garden locations and have detailed ideas of what a garden would look like in their school settings. Please keep this part of the entry to less than 500 words.
c) Teacher or administrator will be responsible for the gardening project. We need a contact information so we can follow up on the project. It would also be nice to have someone to speak to in case the school has questions about how to set up the weather station.
2) At the beginning of each month, we will take all of the applicants and choose the most deserving to receive the weather station and gardening kit. A school must re-apply each month, and no one school can win a weather station and gardening kit twice within a two year span.
3) The winning school is then asked to maintain a blog on the Weather Underground site, updating the online community of its progress in creating a vibrant garden and monitoring the weather conditions in their local community. Of course, Weather Underground will help set this blog up.
We thought to create this grant program because Weather Underground feels a curriculum that includes the maintenance of a garden is a very important trait children can carry in their adult lives. The ability to sustain oneself on the food he or she grows on her own is a vital tool in solving climate change. Today's modern civilization has afforded all of us luxuries such as the ability to buy food grown thousands of miles from our homes. Unfortunately, that food comes with a carbon footprint that is directly proportional to the distance traveled to your dinner table. So, if we teach children how to grow their own food in a backyard or community garden, the carbon footprint of both the food and the community as a whole will go down drastically. In fact, growing one's own food is one of the biggest ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Not only that, growing your own, organic, food is healthier than buying food from a grocery store of mysterious origin.
So, help us spread the word. Heck, it isn't costing your school anything but some time and a few dirty hands!