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

Getting Started

 

Overview
This section contains resources that provide a general overview of school gardening and information on getting the process of installing a school garden started.

Sub-categories within this section:

General School Garden Information

 California School Garden Network (CSGN)
The CSGN works to facilitate the connection between school gardening resource organizations and educators. Its members represent a variety of state agencies, private companies, educational institutions and non profit organizations dedicated to creating and sustaining gardens in every willing school in California. The Network serves as a central organization to distribute school garden resources and support throughout the state. It provides information on teacher training, grants and fundraising, and curriculum resources as well as other helpful links.
http://www.csgn.org

 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

 Getting Started: A Guide for Creating School Gardens as Outdoor Classrooms, Life Lab Science Program, Santa Cruz & Ecoliteracy Center, Berkeley (1997)
A concise guide that asks and answers most questions you need to consider for creating an outdoor classroom garden, including instructions for selecting and preparing sites and maintaining gardens and for connecting gardens to the classroom. It is available at no cost to California teachers upon request, as part of a school garden resource packet from the California Department of Education's "Garden in Every School" program.
http://www.lifelab.org
http://www.ecoliteracy.org/publications/getting-started.html

 Los Angeles County Master Gardeners/Common Ground Garden Program
Under the auspices of the University of California Cooperative Extension, the Common Ground Garden Program has developed a School Garden Start up Guide - "Easy Steps to Building a Sustainable School Garden Program" - that is available online in both English and Spanish. The website also has an order form for the Program's publication Children's Gardens - A Field Guide for Teachers, Parents, and Volunteers.
http://ceslosangeles.ucdavis.edu

 San Diego County Master Gardeners
The San Diego County Master Gardeners have a well developed school gardening program including an extensive website full of information and resources as well as 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

California Fertilizer Foundation (CFF)
The CFF works to enhance awareness and understanding of plant nutrients and agriculture in California. It is part of the California School Garden Network, a group of organizations with a shared interest in garden based learning and teaching about agriculture through the use of school gardens. CFF offers unrestricted grants, gift cards, and educational materials. The website also includes quick links to other school gardening sites and educational resources.
http://www.calfertilizer.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)

Edible Schoolyard Project
The Edible Schoolyard is a non profit cooking and gardening program located on the campus of Martin Luther King Junior Middle School in Berkeley. Its extensive website provides a wealth of information on virtually every aspect of school gardening, including tips and suggestions on things they "learned the hard way."
http://www.edibleschoolyard.org

Gardening for the Environment
Garden for the Environment maintains a nationally acclaimed one-acre urban demonstration garden site for small-scale urban ecological food production, organic gardening and low water-use landscaping. In addition, it offers environmental education programs about organic gardening, urban compost systems and sustainable food systems. GFE 's programs include a three month intensive Gardening and Composting Educator Training program, monthly Compost Education workshops conducted at the garden and community gardens throughout San Francisco, the Resource Efficient Landscape Education series, and the School Education program offered in partnership with San Francisco Unified School District and San Francisco's Department of the Environment.
http://www.gardenfortheenvironment.org

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.html

Western Growers Charitable Foundation (WGCF)
WGCF is a charitable foundation established by the Western Growers Association, an agricultural trade association in California and Arizona. WGCF has established a School Garden Program that raises funds to start and maintain gardens at every school in California and Arizona and provide children opportunities to become more closely linked with their food supply. The Program offers grants and also solicits donations of items school put on its "wish list," such as seedlings and plants, garden tools and gloves, volunteers and funding. The website contains information on starting a school garden and links to useful gardening resources.
http://www.wga.com/default.php?id=80

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Starting Your School Garden

 California Department of Education (CDE)
In collaboration with organizations and individuals throughout California, the CDE oversees the Garden in Every School Program, which promotes linkages among the school classroom, school cafeteria, local agriculture, waste management, and others. The CDE also administers $15,000,000 in state grants for school gardens pursuant to AB 1535. Its publication A Child's Garden of Standards: Linking School Gardens to California Education Standards links garden based education activities selected from several published educational materials to specific academic content standards for grades two through six in science, history/social sciences, mathematics, and English language arts.
http://www.cde.ca.gov
http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/nu/he/garden.asp

 California School Garden Network (CSGN)
The CSGN works to facilitate the connection between school gardening resource organizations and educators. Its members represent a variety of state agencies, private companies, educational institutions and non profit organizations dedicated to creating and sustaining gardens in every willing school in California. The Network serves as a central organization to distribute school garden resources and support throughout the state. It provides information on teacher training, grants and fundraising, and curriculum resources as well as other helpful links.
http://www.csgn.org

 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

 Getting Started: A Guide for Creating School Gardens as Outdoor Classrooms, Life Lab Science Program, Santa Cruz & Ecoliteracy Center, Berkeley (1997)
A concise guide that asks and answers most questions you need to consider for creating an outdoor classroom garden, including instructions for selecting and preparing sites and maintaining gardens and for connecting gardens to the classroom. It is available at no cost to California teachers upon request, as part of a school garden resource packet from the California Department of Education's "Garden in Every School" program.
http://www.lifelab.org
http://www.ecoliteracy.org/publications/getting-started.html

 Life Lab Science Program
Life Lab helps schools integrate gardens into their science and nutrition curriculum. They offer Getting Started: A Guide for Creating School Gardens, The Growing Classroom curriculum guides, and other publications on learning activities. They conduct an extensive series of workshops to bring inspiration to educators interested in science, nutrition, and garden-based learning. Life Lab Science Program staff is available year round for workshops at your site.
http://www.lifelab.org

 Los Angeles County Master Gardeners/Common Ground Garden Program
Under the auspices of the University of California Cooperative Extension, the Common Ground Garden Program has developed a School Garden Start up Guide - "Easy Steps to Building a Sustainable School Garden Program" - that is available online in both English and Spanish. The website also has an order form for the Program's publication Children's Gardens - A Field Guide for Teachers, Parents, and Volunteers.
http://ceslosangeles.ucdavis.edu

 San Diego County Master Gardeners
The San Diego County Master Gardeners have a well developed school gardening program including an extensive website full of information and resources as well as 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

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://bringingbackthenatives.net/gardening-info

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/

Edible Schoolyard Project
The Edible Schoolyard is a non profit cooking and gardening program located on the campus of Martin Luther King Junior Middle School in Berkeley. Its extensive website provides a wealth of information on virtually every aspect of school gardening, including tips and suggestions on things they "learned the hard way."
http://www.edibleschoolyard.org

Western Growers Charitable Foundation (WGCF)
WGCF is a charitable foundation established by the Western Growers Association, an agricultural trade association in California and Arizona. WGCF has established a School Garden Program that raises funds to start and maintain gardens at every school in California and Arizona and provide children opportunities to become more closely linked with their food supply. The Program offers grants and also solicits donations of items school put on its "wish list," such as seedlings and plants, garden tools and gloves, volunteers and funding. The website contains information on starting a school garden and links to useful gardening resources.
http://www.wga.com/default.php?id=80

Return to Top of Page

General Gardening Information

 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

 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

 San Diego County Master Gardeners
The San Diego County Master Gardeners have a well developed school gardening program including an extensive website full of information and resources as well as 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 

Edible Schoolyard Project
The Edible Schoolyard is a non profit cooking and gardening program located on the campus of Martin Luther King Junior Middle School in Berkeley. Its extensive website provides a wealth of information on virtually every aspect of school gardening, including tips and suggestions on things they "learned the hard way."
http://www.edibleschoolyard.org

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