Let There Be Peace on Earth

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2013 Muhammad Ali Center Peace Garden Grant

NGA is proud to announce the 3rd year of the Muhammad Ali Peace Center Peace Garden Grant program sponsored by Yum! Brands Foundation. In an effort to help all schools sow the seeds of respect, the Muhammad Ali Center Peace Garden is designed to help schools teach lessons of peace and hunger awareness through garden activities. As a global initiative, the United States and all international locations are eligible for participation. Grants applications are due on January 2, 2013. Apply online.

Read about one of our 2012 grant recipients: Twelve Stones Community Garden.

Plant the seeds for world peace in your garden. The garden offers a laboratory for students to observe how all living things are interconnected and must stay in balance to thrive. Here are a few peace related themes you can introduce through garden programs:

- The Importance of Diversity. A garden planted with one species quickly becomes a target for pests and disease. Planting a variety of plants and rotating crops to new locations each season, helps keep pest populations in check. Some plants grow so well together that they are referred to as garden companions. Talking about the benefits of diversity in the garden, can serve as a segue to discuss the benefits of diversity in our communities and how each individual and each culture contributes in their own way.

- Competition for Resources. In the garden, plants compete for their basic needs including space, water, sunlight and nutrients. By comparing plants grown properly spaced to plants grown too close together, students can observe how competition for resources impacts plant growth and health. You can use this as a springboard for discussing how competition for resources affects human behavior and fuels conflict.

- Hunger Awareness. Growing edible plants opens the door for discussions about proper nutrition and food insecurity. Your young gardeners can grow extra produce to donate to hunger relief efforts to empower them by showing how their efforts can help solve a community problem.

-Respect. As young gardeners learn they must be gentle with their plants to allow them to mature and produce fruit, they are learning the importance of showing respect for all living things. They can clearly see the positive results of nurturing their plants and providing for their needs and what happens when the plants are neglected or damaged. Help them connect the similarities between plants and people. People who are respected and nurtured are also able to grow to their maximum potential and bear ‘fruit.’

For detailed lesson plans to help you teach about peace through your garden program, check out these resources:

Muhammad Ali Center Peace Garden Activity Guide

Peace Gardens

Developing Symbols for Your Peace Garden

Food and Culture in the Peace Garden

2011ActivityGuide_English.pdf732.29 KB

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