Four District Schools Earn Golden Shovel Awards

From best use of produce to best new garden, four Palm Beach County district-operated schools were among 10 honored for their outstanding school gardens with the inaugural Golden Shovel award from Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam.

The winners were selected from 100 applications submitted by schools in 23 counties. School applications included criteria such as the garden’s aesthetics, novel features and its production and yield.

Local winners are: for the Best New Garden, Elementary Division: Freedom Shores Elementary School, Boynton Beach; for the Best Revitalized Garden, Elementary Division: Equestrian Trails Elementary School, Wellington; for the Most Creative Learning Environment, Elementary Division: Elbridge Gale Elementary School, Wellington; and for the Best Use of Produce, Middle/High Division: Boynton Beach High School, Boynton Beach.

“School gardens are a critical part of the Farm to School model, allowing students to connect with the growing process by planting, raising and harvesting healthy, fresh produce,” Putnam said. “Studies show children who are involved in growing their own food make healthier choices about what to eat and show improved academic performance.”

Learn about the Golden Shovel awards on the Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services at