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Botanical Gardens Awarded a $30,000 Education Grant
From the First Niagara Foundation

Andy Grinsfelder


The First Niagara Foundation, in partnership with KeyBank, has awarded the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens Society, Inc. a $30,000 Education Grant ($10,000 a year over three years).  The purpose of the grant is to provide educational programming at the Botanical Gardens for 700 Buffalo Public School and Charter School students.  

This grant will allow students from the Buffalo Public Schools and Charter Schools, located in the city of Buffalo,  to visit the Botanical Gardens for, free of charge, hands-on programs. Programs include Plant Pals, also known as Plants We Eat, which is designed for children grades kindergarten to second grade. In this program, students will build understanding of the nutritional value of the plants we eat as they chop vegetables, squeeze oranges and grind wheat berries to make flour. Sub-groups will also experience a mini tour of the Botanical Gardens in addition to their rotations through the vegetable, fruit and grain stations.  Project Empower, also known as Plants We Grow, is designed for children grades three to four. Plants We Grow will help students to build an understanding of the specific jobs of the parts of the plant as they dissect flowers, propagate plants and complete a plant part identity challenge game. Lastly, Not a Drop to Drink is designed for children grades five to eight. This program focuses on water usage and the necessity to protect America’s waters.  Students will be able explore the scientific method through a classroom terrarium project and learn how to become stewards of the environment.

Founded in 1998, the First Niagara Foundation will carry out the philanthropic legacy of First Niagara Bank and its predecessor Lockport Savings Bank by supporting not-for-profit organizations dedicated to empowering individuals and neighborhoods primarily in Western New York.  The Foundation also continues a focus on supporting select quality youth mentoring in legacy markets previously served by First Niagara Bank. This grant includes 12 additional Buffalo Public Schools and/or Charter Schools, located in the city of Buffalo, per year, or 700 additional students to participate in hands-on educational programing at the Botanical Gardens. The grant funds will begin for the 2017-2018 school year.

“Education is at the core of our mission and we are very grateful to the First Niagara Foundation for providing this invaluable opportunity to 700 children from the Buffalo Public Schools.” Dave Swarts, President/CEO

The Botanical Gardens is now accepting applications to participate in this grant funded program. If you are affiliated with a Buffalo Public School and/or Charter School, located in the city of Buffalo, and are interested in submitting an application for your school or class, please contact the Botanical Gardens’ Education Department at 716-827-1584 ext. 292 or email jbaj@buffalogardens.com.

For more information, visit the Botanical Gardens’ website at buffalogardens.com. Proceeds benefit the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens Society Inc., a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization with a mission to inspire curiosity and connect people to the natural world through its historic living museum.


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