UC Master Gardener Program of Alameda County
University of California
UC Master Gardener Program of Alameda County

School Garden Design & Construction

Overview

This section provides information on various garden designs including construction materials, planting materials and equipment, and irrigation. Once you have decided on the type of garden design most suitable for your site, these resources will help you select appropriate materials and implement your plan. Or, if you are not sure what design best suits your circumstances, these resources can give you some ideas about possible approaches. If you have not yet settled on a garden design and are looking for some models, you may also want to check out our "Gardens & Tours" section for examples of successful school gardens.

Sub-categories within this section: 

 Design
 

 Gardens for Learning: Creating and Sustaining Your School Garden, California School Garden Network (2006)
This CSGN publication is a comprehensive overview of school gardening from start to finish with ideas for every aspect of your project including funding and recruiting volunteers and sustaining the garden once it is implemented. Hard copies are available to California educators on request a free hard copy; and it is also downloadable as a pdf.
http://www.csgn.org/publications.php

 San Diego County Master Gardeners
The San Diego County Master Gardeners have a well developed school gardening program including an extensive website of information and resources and a companion publication Plant a Seed, Watch It Grow, A Guide for School Gardens.
http://www.mastergardenerssandiego.org

 School Garden Wizard
School Garden Wizard is a website created for grades K 12 through a partnership between the United States Botanic Garden and Chicago Botanic Garden. It contains a beginning to end guide to school gardening from getting approval of your garden proposal through funding and design to sustaining your project. In turn, each section sets out a step by step description of what you will need and how to achieve a successful result. Helpful links and resources are included.
http://www.schoolgardenwizard.org

 The Watershed Project
The Watershed Project is a nonprofit organization offering a range of services to support healthy watersheds in the San Francisco Bay Area. Programs and services include workshops for educators and the general public about school gardening, gardening resources and grant information and assistance, and Teacher Action Grants to support teachers engaged in school gardening. The Project also has a demonstration garden featuring native plants as well as a propagation nursery offering plants for sale. It publishes a newsletter with helpful information and resources for school gardening.
http://www.thewatershedproject.org

Bay Friendly Gardening
The Bay Friendly Gardening Program operates under the auspices of StopWaste.Org. to sponsor a variety of programs promoting environmentally sound gardening practices. The program includes workshops; garden tours; and information on soil preparation, plant selection, and composting. The website contains a list of local nurseries that stock bay friendly plants and give a 10% discount with a downloadable flyer as well as a list of native plant sources throughout the Bay Area. The website also features links to sources for salvaged, recycled, and organic landscape materials and a variety of other garden resources.
http://www.stopwaste.org

Children's Gardens, A Field Guide for Teachers, Parents and Volunteers, Elizabeth Bremner and John Pusey, University of California Cooperative Extension/Common Ground Garden Program (1990)
This field manual includes step-by-step instructions for developing school gardens. Hands-on activities for beginning gardeners of all ages. Discussion and activity sections on the process (mulch, controlling insects, harvesting, food preservation); activities (weeds, mulch, controlling insects, harvesting, food preservation, flower dissection, worm culture, manure tea, homemade insect sprays, cold frames, hotbeds, greenhouses, scarecrows, gopher chasers, bean tips, sundials, other activities, and skills evaluation); resources (site development, containers, tools, amendments, seeds, biological controls, technical assistance); and bibliography (books, videos, websites).
Phone: 510-642-2431 (800-994-8849, outside of California)

EcoSchool Design™
EcoSchool Design™ seeks to assist schools in transforming paved schoolyards into ecosystems for outdoor learning by offering schoolyard design consulting assistance, including workshops, as well as design ideas and information. The website includes a substantial number of useful links to other sites providing school gardening information.
http://www.ecoschools.com

The Gardens at Heather Farm
The Gardens at Heather Farm include a variety of demonstration gardens featuring a broad range of plants situated in more than twenty demonstration gardens and learning sites. The gardens demonstrate low-maintenance, water conserving and environmentally friendly pest management methods, as well as stunning landscape techniques and designs.
http://www.gardenshf.org

Oakland Butterfly Urban Gardens (O.B.U.G.S.)
O.B.U.G.S. is an Oakland based nonprofit organization founded to strengthen families and build community through educational programs offered in a network of neighborhood gardens, green spaces and farmers markets.
http://www.obugs.org

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Construction Materials

 School Garden Wizard
School Garden Wizard is a website created for grades K 12 through a partnership between the United States Botanic Garden and Chicago Botanic Garden. It contains a beginning to end guide to school gardening from getting approval of your garden proposal through funding and design to sustaining your project. In turn, each section sets out a step by step description of what you will need and how to achieve a successful result. Helpful links and resources are included.
http://www.schoolgardenwizard.org

The Watershed Project
The Watershed Project is a nonprofit organization offering a range of services to support healthy watersheds in the San Francisco Bay Area. Programs and services include workshops for educators and the general public about school gardening, gardening resources and grant information and assistance, and Teacher Action Grants to support teachers engaged in school gardening. The Project also has a demonstration garden featuring native plants as well as a propagation nursery offering plants for sale. It publishes a newsletter with helpful information and resources for school gardening.
http://www.thewatershedproject.org

Bay Friendly Gardening
The Bay Friendly Gardening Program operates under the auspices of StopWaste.Org. to sponsor a variety of programs promoting environmentally sound gardening practices. The program includes workshops; garden tours; and information on soil preparation, plant selection, and composting. The website contains a list of local nurseries that stock bay friendly plants and give a 10% discount with a downloadable flyer as well as a list of native plant sources throughout the Bay Area. The website also features links to sources for salvaged, recycled, and organic landscape materials and a variety of other garden resources.
http://www.stopwaste.org

Children's Gardens, A Field Guide for Teachers, Parents and Volunteers, Elizabeth Bremner and John Pusey, University of California Cooperative Extension/Common Ground Garden Program (1990)
This field manual includes step-by-step instructions for developing school gardens. Hands-on activities for beginning gardeners of all ages. Discussion and activity sections on the process (mulch, controlling insects, harvesting, food preservation); activities (weeds, mulch, controlling insects, harvesting, food preservation, flower dissection, worm culture, manure tea, homemade insect sprays, cold frames, hotbeds, greenhouses, scarecrows, gopher chasers, bean tips, sundials, other activities, and skills evaluation); resources (site development, containers, tools, amendments, seeds, biological controls, technical assistance); and bibliography (books, videos, websites).
Phone: 510-642-2431 (800-994-8849, outside of California)

Green Schoolyard Resource Directory
The San Francisco Green Schoolyard Alliance has compiled this online school gardening resource directory, which may also be downloaded in pdf format. It covers a wide variety of resources around the Bay Area as well as useful information for starting and maintaining a school garden.
http://www.sfgreenschools.org/resources/PartA_GreenSchoolyard_ResourceDirectory_2-13-06.pdf

KidMAX for California Schools
KidMAX works to provide a free source of used materials, such as art supplies and building supplies, to California's schools through the California Material Exchange (CalMAX), which helps businesses find markets for nonhazardous materials they have traditionally discarded.
http://www.ciwmb.ca.gov/calmax/Kidmax.htm


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 Tools & Planting Equipment  

 National Gardening Association (NGA)
The NGA offers books on youth gardening, including Guide to Kid's Gardening, and a bi-monthly magazine with features on children's gardening programs nationwide. NGA sponsors a grant program that honors noteworthy youth gardening projects.
http://www.kidsgardening.com
http://www.garden.org
http://www.kidsgardeningstore.com

Children's Gardens, A Field Guide for Teachers, Parents and Volunteers, Elizabeth Bremner and John Pusey, University of California Cooperative Extension/Common Ground Garden Program (1990)
This field manual includes step-by-step instructions for developing school gardens. Hands-on activities for beginning gardeners of all ages. Discussion and activity sections on the process (mulch, controlling insects, harvesting, food preservation); activities (weeds, mulch, controlling insects, harvesting, food preservation, flower dissection, worm culture, manure tea, homemade insect sprays, cold frames, hotbeds, greenhouses, scarecrows, gopher chasers, bean tips, sundials, other activities, and skills evaluation); resources (site development, containers, tools, amendments, seeds, biological controls, technical assistance); and bibliography (books, videos, websites).
Phone: 510-642-2431 (800-994-8849, outside of California)

The Rodale Institute's Kidsregen
Kidsregen.org is a website maintained by The Rodale Institute for the purpose of empowering children to make healthy choices for the environment and for themselves. The staff's goal is to make the site a safe place for children to interact with other kids, play and have fun while learning the important connections between healthy soil/environment, healthy food, and healthy people.
http://www.kidsregen.org

Tool lending libraries
Many cities have a lending service for gardening and other tools through their public libraries. Tools are available to members of the community in good standing with the library who agreed to the terms of the service. If your location is not listed below, check with your library or local city government.
Oakland: http://www.oaklandlibrary.org/Branches/tem.htm
Berkeley: http://www.infopeople.org/bpl/tool

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Irrigation Materials

The Urban Farmer
Located in Richmond, the Urban Farmer has a large selection of irrigation supplies and offers free irrigation workshops.
http://www.urbanfarmerstore.com/

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 Soils & Planting Materials

Bay Friendly Gardening
The Bay Friendly Gardening Program operates under the auspices of StopWaste.Org. to sponsor a variety of programs promoting environmentally sound gardening practices. The program includes workshops; garden tours; and information on soil preparation, plant selection, and composting. The website contains a list of local nurseries that stock bay friendly plants and give a 10% discount with a downloadable flyer as well as a list of native plant sources throughout the Bay Area. The website also features links to sources for salvaged, recycled, and organic landscape materials and a variety of other garden resources.
http://www.stopwaste.org

Children's Gardens, A Field Guide for Teachers, Parents and Volunteers, Elizabeth Bremner and John Pusey, University of California Cooperative Extension/Common Ground Garden Program (1990)
This field manual includes step-by-step instructions for developing school gardens. Hands-on activities for beginning gardeners of all ages. Discussion and activity sections on the process (mulch, controlling insects, harvesting, food preservation); activities (weeds, mulch, controlling insects, harvesting, food preservation, flower dissection, worm culture, manure tea, homemade insect sprays, cold frames, hotbeds, greenhouses, scarecrows, gopher chasers, bean tips, sundials, other activities, and skills evaluation); resources (site development, containers, tools, amendments, seeds, biological controls, technical assistance); and bibliography (books, videos, websites).
Phone: 510-642-2431 (800-994-8849, outside of California)

Green Schoolyard Resource Directory
The San Francisco Green Schoolyard Alliance has compiled this online school gardening resource directory, which may also be downloaded in pdf format. It covers a wide variety of resources around the Bay Area as well as useful information for starting and maintaining a school garden.
http://www.sfgreenschools.org/resources/PartA_GreenSchoolyard_ResourceDirectory_2-13-06.pdf

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Habitat Gardening & Materials

Alameda Countywide Clean Water Program
The Program encourages and facilitates grassroots community actions that enhance and protect the health of local watersheds, creeks, and the San Francisco Bay and has established the Community Stewardship Grant Program for community groups, educators, environmentalists, nonprofit groups, and others to conduct projects to support these goals. Past grants have been awarded for creekside restoration and revegetation and wildlife habitat projects.
http://www.cleanwaterprogram.org/schools_programsOpp.htm

Bay Friendly Gardening
The Bay Friendly Gardening Program operates under the auspices of StopWaste.Org. to sponsor a variety of programs promoting environmentally sound gardening practices. The program includes workshops; garden tours; and information on soil preparation, plant selection, and composting. The website contains a list of local nurseries that stock bay friendly plants and give a 10% discount with a downloadable flyer as well as a list of native plant sources throughout the Bay Area. The website also features links to sources for salvaged, recycled, and organic landscape materials and a variety of other garden resources.
http://www.stopwaste.org

Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour
This annual tour spotlights gardens throughout Alameda and Contra Costa Counties that feature a significant number of California native plants in their design. At the website below, you will find useful information on how to get started with natives, where to find plants, and which ones attract wildlife as well as other helpful resources.
http://www.bringingbackthenatives.net/useful.html

Children's Gardens, A Field Guide for Teachers, Parents and Volunteers, Elizabeth Bremner and John Pusey, University of California Cooperative Extension/Common Ground Garden Program (1990)
This field manual includes step-by-step instructions for developing school gardens. Hands-on activities for beginning gardeners of all ages. Discussion and activity sections on the process (mulch, controlling insects, harvesting, food preservation); activities (weeds, mulch, controlling insects, harvesting, food preservation, flower dissection, worm culture, manure tea, homemade insect sprays, cold frames, hotbeds, greenhouses, scarecrows, gopher chasers, bean tips, sundials, other activities, and skills evaluation); resources (site development, containers, tools, amendments, seeds, biological controls, technical assistance); and bibliography (books, videos, websites).
Phone: 510-642-2431 (800-994-8849, outside of California)

National Wildlife Federation (NWF)
The overall mission of the NWF is to inspire Americans to protect wildlife for our children's future. The website contains a step-by-step guide as well as related resources to help educators to garden for wildlife as part of their teaching.
http://www.nwf.org/schoolyard/

Urban Bee Gardens
This website provides a practical guide to introducing the world's most prolific pollinators into your garden and includes extensive listings of plants that attract bees.
http://nature.berkeley.edu/urbanbeegardens/index.html

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