Grow with the 2023 Step ONE Teaching Garden grantees

The Hamilton County Health Department has announced the 10 recipients of its Teaching Garden Grants — meet the local organizations that will use their gardens for education within the community.

NOOGAtoday | Beth Garden

With help from Step ONE’s Teaching Garden Grant Program, the community can get education on sustainability + healthy foods.

Photo provided by The Bethlehem Center

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New things are sprouting locally. The Hamilton County Health Department has selected its 2023-24 grantees for its Step ONE program’s Teaching Garden Grant.

The Step ONE program works to promote and enhance healthy lifestyles within the Hamilton County community through local partnerships, education, and policy. Since 2008, the program has worked to fund local teaching gardens.

With a vision to build a bridge connecting the quality of diet + health for children and their families through involvement and awareness, the grant awards $1,000 to 10 different gardens.

Those gardens are selected based on “strength of garden vision and design, plans for sustainability, identified leadership, educational goals, creativity, and geographic diversity.”

NOOGAtoday | Bethlehem Center garden

This year’s grant awards marks 79 local gardens funded for education.

Photo provided by The Bethlehem Center

Garden grantees

  • The Bethlehem Center | The Farm at the Beth
  • Chattanooga Room in the Inn | CRITI Kids Teaching Therapy Garden
  • East Ridge High School | East Ridge High School Garden
  • Ivy Academy | Ivy Academy Teaching Garden
  • LifeSpring Community Health | Addressing Family Food Insecurity and Encouraging Healthy Eating Through Gardening
  • Lookout Valley Elementary School | Lookout Valley Teaching Garden
  • MoMentum Network | MoMentum Village Garden
  • The Mountain Arts Community Center | The Mountain Arts Community Center Teaching Garden
  • North Hamilton Elementary School | NHCE Teaching Garden
  • Orange Grove Center | Garden of Eden

The Bethlehem Center’s Special Projects Manager Lillian Moore said the funds will be used for outfitting the hoop house + prep to grow seedlings over winter.
“Students in our Read to Lead Academy after-school program will be involved in the growing process from seeding to planting (to eating),” said Moore.

Bonus: The program will also honor unspent funds from two recipients of the 2019-20 grant cycle due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Ooltewah High School | Agriculture Club
  • Thrasher Elementary School | Seasons of Sustenance: Exploring History, Health, and Harvest

“We have watched children become leaders, seen community members work together, and raised awareness for the importance of growing fresh fruit and vegetables for the overall health of our county.” — Step ONE Program Manager Renee Craig