Why Build a Garden?

Grow Confidence

Reduce Stress

Eat Healthier

  • That’s right, you made that food
  • Proud to                                                        serve                                                          others
  • Enjoy the outdoors
  •  Work with                                         friends &                                           family
  •  Forget your                                     worries
  • Know what’s                                                in your food
  • More fruits                                                  & vegetables 
  • Boost of                                                      vitamin D 

Build a Garden 101

#1 Find an Audience

Find the right location and audience.  To do so, make a survey and ask (1) who this will benefit, (2) where it will be located, and (3) how will it be maintained?

Areas that benefit from a garden…

  • Community: build a garden in the center of town, and have Key Club members water it every day on a shift rotation.
  • School: construct raised garden beds in a local school to benefits students and staff in any grade level.  Ask a club or staff member to water it daily.
  • Church: beautify a local church by planting flowers near the entrance.  Then, add a sign that encourages individuals in need to take some food!
  • Home: build your own garden at home, in the back yard, near the porch, or somewhere else creative.  Make it fun and decorate pots.  If you are really daring, maybe even grow some hot peppers.

#2 Write a Plan

Now that you know where to build and who will benefit, it is time calculate a budget and fund your garden.

Budget: Think about how sturdy your garden should be, if it must keep deer and bugs out, and if plants will need cages or plenty of space to grow.

Use the Google Spreadsheet below to track the cost of your garden.

Funding: In order to pay for your garden, host a fundraiser or ask for grants.  When writing a grant application, you must pay attention to detail.  I suggest that you use the sample email below.

#3 Delegate Tasks

You are a motivated Key Club member if you made it this far, but now you must ask for help.

Ask Key Club members or other students to build the garden with you.  They can also bring tools, such as shovels, hammers, etc.

Ask an established garden organization to support the students when you plant, and use their suggestions for soil type, fertilizer, and more.

#4 Enjoy the Construction Day & Share Pictures

Don’t forget that this event should be fun and enjoyable for everyone involved.

Thank everyone in the project, and share your pictures on social media.  You will be an excellent inspiration for other Key Clubs!

Frequently Asked Questions

With a well-planned budget and a grant from an organization your garden can be free.  Fundraisers and grants are the two easiest methods to afford a service project.

Grant opportunities:

Key Club Youth Opportunities Fund

ServeOhio provides grants for National Days of Service

The Whole Kids Foundation has a Garden Grant Program

LettuceGrow makes one-of-a-kind farmstands for growing in compact spaces.

A rule of thumb is to plant in early to late April.  This Almanac provides a suggested growing schedule for every county and nearly every plant imaginable!


Ask a local garden center or hardware store to donate plants and soil or fences and a garden.

Use your imagination!  An art club can paint flower pots and the entrance sign to your garden, guest speakers and community leaders can host events here and educate the community, and you should always invite other members of the K-Family.  Aktion Club and Kiwanians will love to help.

Ask a well know non-profit for assistance.

Feeding America, the Salvation Army, Ohio Hunger Alliance, and the Whole Kids Foundation are excellent choices.

Or reach out to the Ohio Key Club Governor, Giovanni Stabile, at ohkcgovernor@gmail.com.

Donate the fresh fruits and vegetables, or reward the students and gardeners by giving them bags to collect their own produce.