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School Garden Volunteer Resources


This section includes a variety of volunteer sources to assist in the design, construction, installation, and maintenance of school gardens. Some agencies and organizations also have individuals who will conduct on site gardening lessons and activities.

Sub-categories within this section:

Governmental Agencies

  • Federal

Please let us know if you have a good federal agency that provides or facilitates volunteers for school gardens.

  • State

Particularly Useful Resource! University of California Botanical Garden, Berkeley
The UC Botanical Garden helps diverse school gardens become effective educational resources by creating dynamic garden based units that support the California and National Education Standards. The Garden's school partnership program infuses innovative curricula, teacher training, and parent involvement in the process. The program includes docent led garden tours, in school gardening programs and consultations, and professional development opportunities through the UC Botanical Garden Education Program and the Annual School Garden Conference. The Growing Learning Communities Project has developed a garden linked curriculum that includes Botany on Your Plate and Math in the Garden.

  • County

StopWaste.Org is the Alameda County Waste Management Authority and the Alameda County Source Reduction and Recycling Board operating as one public agency in part to promote environmental awareness. It provides free garden related materials to teachers, including "Do the Rot Thing" teacher's guide with activities on worms and composting for grades K 12; in class presentations on how to use compost bins and worm boxes to turn yard waste and food scraps into organic fertilizer, plus a free bin and worms; technical assistance including a resource library with composting information.

  • City

  • Please let us know if you have a good agency in your city that provides or facilitates volunteers for school gardens.

Nonprofit Organizations

Particularly Useful Resource! 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.

The Gardens at Heather Farm
The Gardens at Heather Farms include the Natural Science Classroom (NSC), which offers a wide variety of science and environmental education programs for students of all ages and abilities. Each program includes an interactive presentation, hands-on activities, and teacher resource materials. The programs are designed to support the classroom curriculum and align with the current California Science and Social Science Content Standards. The goal of the NSC is to provide students with sensory and scientific explorations that build science skills and knowledge and create a deeper appreciation and understanding of the natural world. NSC offers field trip classes and some school classroom presentations.

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.

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Bay Farms Elementary School/Alameda Butterfly Habitat
Bay Farms Elementary School is home to the Alameda Butterfly Habitat, which once was nothing but a slab of concrete. It now provides educational opportunities for the entire school as well as a beautiful place for the community to visit. The garden's website includes curriculum and standards related links as well as resources on getting and keeping volunteers.
Bay Farm Elementary School
200 Aughinbaugh Way
Alameda, CA 

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.

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