Green Our Planet Continues To Grow in the Sands Cares Accelerator
Green Our Planet was founded in 2013 by documentary filmmakers Ciara Byrne and Kim MacQuarrie as a fundraising tool for conservation projects, but the founders decided to pivot the organization's original mission to focus on school gardening as a means of increasing student achievement in STEM subjects, while educating about environmental conservation. Now the largest STEM school garden and hydroponics program in the United States, Green Our Planet provides educators with grants and materials to begin a school or hydroponic garden, along with the curriculum to teach students about STEM, nutrition and financial literacy through planting, harvesting and selling plants grown in gardens. Green Our Planet chad ambitious goals for its time in the nonprofit accelerator program, aiming to scale its hydroponics garden program to serve more students, as well as leverage a new initiative to bring hydroponic gardens to companies as a funding stream to establish gardens at more schools. The nonprofit also used Sands Cares Accelerator resources to grow the organization's marketing expertise and capacity. "When we joined the Sands Cares Accelerator in 2020, Sands saw growth potential in us that we hadn't seen yet," Byrne says.