Grant #25

Green Graffiti, Moss Murals for Montessori

August 5, 2013

Picture a graffiti artist. Are they somewhere between, say, three and six years old? These artists are!

After years of having to relocate annually, the Northeast Iowa Montessori School (NEIM) finally found a permanent home in downtown Decorah, Iowa. A non-profit that educates children aged three to six, their new space had one major drawback: the now outdoor playground was formerly an empty lot.

To spruce things up the teachers built willow structures and added garden beds, but a gloomy retaining wall on the northwest side kept the yard from setting the cheerful vibe they had envisioned. Then they had an ideaâ

With this AWB grant and the help of Art Education students at neighboring Luther College, the school plans to invite their kids to a mid-summer moss painting party. Not only will they learn about moss, but they’ll have the opportunity to make “moss paint.” Just by adding buttermilk and sugar to the plants, the children will turn a cinder-block wall into a whimsical (and natural!) backdrop for their limitless imaginations.

Learn more about the school and project by visiting their website and Facebook page, then swoop on over to our AWB application and throw your hat in the ring for some awesome funding of your own!

Category: Art, Children, Education, Youth



After 11+ years, we’re signing off and closing applications for good. We’ve supported 571 projects with $571,000 in grant dollars. We’re so proud to have celebrated such incredible work. Please visit for more information on other AWESOME chapters! And thanks for sharing so much awesomeness with us.

Team Awesome Without Borders