School Garden Toolkit
School gardens are valuable resources for enriching student learning. Gardens are versatile and rewarding educational spaces that can be used to teach across the curriculum for any age and ability level. They may also provide fresh fruits and vegetables to school communities. However, gardens require resources and knowledge not always immediately available within a school community. This site provides links to information and downloadable resources to help you get started.
Supporting school gardens is part of City Schools’ efforts to encourage outdoor education and support environmental literacy. Great Kids Farm, City Schools’ educational farm in Catonsville, is a hub of information and resources for gardens at all stages of development. Learn about their programs and ways they can support your gardening goals here.For more information on Great Kids Farm’s educational programs and on gardens at City Schools, contact Matt Dobson, Farm Manager.For information regarding logistics, permissions and other information, contact Joanna Pi-Sunyer, Green Schools Coordinator.
Identifying your garden’s goals
Clarifying the purpose of your garden will inform how you develop the space. Find ideas on possible garden functions at your school so that you can design your garden and program appropriately.
Designing your garden
Selecting a site, designing your beds, and choosing plants are all important. Find resources to aid you in planning your growing space.
Funding your garden
There are lots of creative ways to raise money for your garden. Find a list of grants and other funding opportunities.
Gathering materials and supplies
There’s no way around it: installing and maintaining your garden requires materials. Find a list of traditional and unconventional sources to help you gather what you need on a budget.Planting and maintaining your garden
Planting and tending a garden within the constraints of a school year presents unique issues. Find suggestions on gardens that thrive within the school year calendar.
Harvesting and eating from your garden
Growing edible plants is exciting for students but requires attention to food safety in both the garden and classroom. Find food-safe practices for growing and consuming your garden’s produce.
Teaching in a garden
Gardens can enrich learning in a multitude of ways. Find resources on engaging students in garden-based learning, using the garden to help you meet standards, and managing students outside.