The Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation donated $1,050,000 to the University of Arizona School Garden Workshop (SGW) program Wednesday morning.

The donation supports the making of “Sprouts House” an education center for Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) and SGW.

Studies show school gardens positively influence a student’s interest in produce. The SGW program immerses TUSD students in nutrition education outside of the classroom.

Superintendent for TUSD, Dr. Gabriel Trujillo is proud of the incoming garden within the Rincon Heights neighborhood, right beside Mansfeld Middle Magnet School.

“Tucson Unified School District is renowned for its school garden programming,” said Dr. Trujillo. “With 70 active school garden programs throughout the district, this is going to be a busy hub of field trips and learning opportunities for all kinds of students.”

Sprouts House will directly support 800 middle school students with weekly school gardening and nutrition lessons and 10,000 elementary students with field trips, weekend and after school workshop programs. A commercial kitchen is also making its way, too something one Mansfeld sixth grader, Lillian Robles, is excited for.

“I cannot wait to cook,” Robles said. “Me and my family cook a lot like we do family dinners so we all incorporate. We make family recipes and I love cooking.”

Sprouts House will inhabit two historic, unused bungalows in the Rincon Heights neighborhood. One is going to become a community classroom and the other, a commercial kitchen.

Executive Director for Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation, Lyndsey Waugh, said Sprouts is all about building healthy communities.

“We wanted this space to be something that would be inspiring for kids to be apart of,” said Waugh. “It would be a point of pride for the community.”

The team will break ground by the end of the summer for Sprouts House, with the completion slated for early Spring 2025.