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Grant Helps Teach Kids to Grow Own Food at Wisconsin Heights Schools

Sauk Prairie Healthcare Foundation funded a hydroponic Tower Garden with a Healthy Life Grant to give students at Wisconsin Heights schools hands-on nutrition and agricultural education.

Kim Houser, an instructor for the agricultural education classes with the Wisconsin Heights School District (WHSD), applied for the $2,500 grant.

In her application, Houser said that the goals of purchasing a Tower Garden were to:

  • Offer a hands-on experience for elementary, middle and high school students to learn how to successfully grow vegetables and herbs (from seed to harvest) and the benefits of doing so.
  • Teach students how to monitor pH, water, and nutrient levels for the specific vegetable and herbs.
  • Provide students and staff fresh vegetables and herbs throughout the school year through both the school food service program and the WHSD staff wellness program.
  • Empower two to three high school students to serve as the student managers of the Tower Garden project.

“The mission of any agricultural education program is to educate people (young or old) about where their food comes from,” said Houser. “This grant will help to educate our students that food doesn't always have to come from a grocery store or roadside stand — it can come from their home and can be a way to save money, start a hobby or even become self-sustainable. Sauk Prairie Healthcare Foundation's mission is to advance the health of our communities. The Tower Garden project's purpose is to educate people about growing their own produce (which will be set up in a highly visual spot in the school) and to teach them how easy it is!”

The students are currently growing lettuce, basil and cilantro that will be featured on the salad bar in the lunchroom. They’re expected to harvest 30 pounds of lettuce and plan to donate it to the WHSD School Food Service Program in the first year.

Todd Wuerger, Executive Director of the Sauk Prairie Healthcare Foundation, said, “I was so happy to receive these pictures from Kim and know that the students were successfully using the Tower Garden for learning how to grow healthy food.”

Sauk Prairie Healthcare Foundation Awards Healthy Life Grants Annually to Support Community Wellness Projects

Sauk Prairie Healthcare Foundation is committed not only to the health of our patients, but to the health of the communities we serve. Every year the Foundation provides grants to a variety of community organizations for health-related projects. Since 2004, we have awarded more than $405,000 in grants. In 2022, we gave more than $53,000 back to our communities.

Organizations can apply for Healthy Life Grants now. Sauk Prairie Healthcare Foundation’s Board of Directors Grants and Gifts Committee reviews the applications and winners are announced in the fall for the following year. For more information and an application, visit

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