Cincinnati Zoo Video Resources

About the Plant for Pollinators Challenge

Planning your pollinator garden

Why should you start a pollinator garden?

How to plant your garden

Who are our local pollinators?

How to maintain your garden

Financial and Technical Assistance

The following list contains various organizations and grants that offer financial assistance, tools, seeds, or technical assistance and guidance for installing a pollinator garden. There are different assistance programs for everyone, including for schools, youth-focused programs, private landowners, companies, communities, and more! Most of these grants and programs are offered year after year. If the deadline has passed for the current year, consider checking back at a later date for the next year’s application.

Assistance for Schools and Youth-focused Programs

Carton 2 Garden Contest Grant
$1000 to $5000. Specifically focused on public and private school gardens that repurpose milk and juice cartons.

Green Education Foundation
$500 to expand a current garden project involving children in grades K-12, from schools and youth groups. Nationwide grant.

Youth Garden Grant
Up to $250 and about $2,000 worth of gardening tools and supplies. Geared towards any non-profit organization, public or private school, or youth program that serves at least 15 youth between the ages of 3 and 18.

Illinois Clean Energy, Illinois K-12 Schools Program
Up to $10,000 or 90% of the costs to design and install pollinator habitat, and an additional $1,000 towards summer maintenance. Reimbursement grant program. Geared towards Illinois public or private K-12 schools and non-profit organizations working in partnership with schools. Project must include a community planting day or pollinator celebration at the site and educate K-12 youth and the community about pollinator habitat and conservation.

Gro More Good: Hydro for Hunger Grant; Louisiana, New York, and Washington
Two Miracle-Gro growing units and supplies. Hydroponic garden Grants for No Kid Hungry partner schools with feeding programs in LA, NY, and WA. Focuses on programs that connect kids to the benefits of gardens and green spaces.

Gro More Good: Grassroots Grant
Up to $1,000 for all non-profit and tax-exempt organizations, including schools in US and US territories that serve at least 15 youth. Funds are used to install a new youth garden or green space, or expand a current garden or green space. The program is designed to bring the benefits of gardens to communities while serving youth.

Whole Kids Foundation: Garden Grant Program
$3,000 for K-12 schools or non-profit organizations to turn outdoor spaces into learning gardens to connect kids with food, spark curiosity, and support curriculum.

Whole Kids Foundation: Bee Grant
$1,500 monetary grant or $2,000 valued equipment grant. The program allows for schools and non-profits to install educational bee hives so students can observe bees up close and learn about pollinators.

Gro More Good Garden Grant, Head Start Programs
Offers garden grants, kits, curriculum, and training. Available to all Head Start programs aiming to create more edible gardens for young children and their families.

Assistance for Private Landowners and Communities

US Fish & Wildlife, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Monarch Butterfly and Pollinators Conservation Fund
Various grants, including large-scale grants for private landowners. Focuses on projects that create and sustain monarch and pollinator habitats, including restoration and enhancement activities. Also supports programs to target outreach to landowners to improve pollinator habitat.

Urban Gardening Grant, City of Columbus and Franklin County, Ohio
Up to $3,000 for supplies and/or contractual services to repurpose underused land to create or expand community gardens, non-traditional gardens, and green spaces. (Including pollinator gardens, produce for farmer’s markets, school gardens, and beautification efforts). Only valid in Columbus and Franklin County, Ohio.

The Pollination Project, International
$1,000 in seed funding. Various programs focused on grassroots community projects, community and sustainability.

Monarch Butterfly and Pollinators Conservation Fund, National
Technical assistance for private working lands, including hiring additional staff or contractors to help develop pollinator habitat. Also supports developing landscape-based partnerships to expand restoration and outreach among landowners.

Seed a Legacy Program, Bee & Butterfly Habitat Fund, 12 states including Ohio
Private, public and corporate landowners can apply online to receive pollinator seed mixture for projects covering at least two acres.

US Fish & Wildlife, Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program
The Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program provides technical and financial assistance to private landowners interested in restoring and enhancing wildlife habitat on their land.

Project Wingspan, Pollinator Partnership, 9 states including Ohio
Landowners can apply online for native plant materials, advice, consulting, and more information.

Monarch Watch, Eastern United States
Free milkweed plants for large-scale (two acres or more) native habitat restoration only.

For more federal and state grant and technical assistance programs:

Pollinator Identification


Bumblebee Field Guide
Bumblebees of the Eastern United States
Ohio Bee Identification Guide
Ohio’s Wild Bees
Bees of Ohio Field Guide

Butterflies and Moths
Ohio Lepidopterists
Butterflies and Moths of North America


T. Harris. 2020. Know Your Pollinators.
H. Holms. 2014. Pollinators of Native Plants: Attract, Observe, and Identify Pollinators and Beneficial Insects with Native Plants.

H. Holms. 2017. Bees: An Identification and Native Plant Forage Guide.
P. Embry. 2018. Our Native Bees: North America’s Endangered Pollinators and the Fight To Save Them.
P.H. Williams, R.W. Thorp, L.L. Richardson, & S.R. Colla. 2014. Bumblebees of North America.
J.S. Wilson & O.J. Messinger-Carril. 2015. The Bees in Your Backyard: A Guide to North America’s Bees.

Butterflies and Moths
J. Glassberg. 2017. A Swift Guide to the Butterflies of North America.

More Advice on Planting For Pollinators

Buckeye Yard and Garden Online
Cincinnati Nature Center
Civic Garden Center
Michigan Pollinator Initiative
Monarch Wings Across Ohio
National Pollinator Garden Network
National Wildlife Federation
Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative
Ohio State University Extension
Ohio State University Partners for Pollinators
Pollinator Partnership
Wild Ones Greater Cincinnati Chapter
Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation

K. Eierman. 2020. The Pollinator Victory Garden.
D. Mizejewski. 2019. Attracting Birds, Butterflies, and Other Backyard Wildlife.
D.W. Tallamy. 2020. Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard.
D.W. Tallamy. 2009. Bringing Nature Home.
R. Darke & D.W. Tallamy. 2014. The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden.
R. F. Hayes. 2016. Pollinator Friendly Gardening: Gardening for Bees, Butterflies, and Other Pollinators.
The Xerces Society. 2011. Attracting Native Pollinators.
The Xerces Society. 2016. 100 Plants to Feed the Bees: Provide a Healthy Habitat to Help Pollinators Thrive.