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Starting a School Garden



This page provides resources on how to start a school garden or update an existing plot. 


Steps to Start a New Garden from the Marin County Master Gardeners

Green Schoolyard America
Green Schoolyards America envisions a future in which public school grounds are used strategically to improve the well-being of children, their communities, and the urban environment at the same time.

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.

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 Tools & Planting Equipment  

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.

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.

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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.

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Public Gardens in the Bay Area

Lake Merritt Trials and Community Garden

The Trials Garden is located in the Gardens at Lake Merritt, which are next to and behind the Lakeside Garden Center, 666 Bellevue Ave, Oakland. Bellevue is one-way off of Grand Ave on the north side of Lake Merritt. After passing Children’s Fairyland on the right and the lawn bowling club on the left, you come to the Garden Center building on your left. The main entrance to the garden area is just past the building, with a second entrance several hundred yards further around. The Trials Garden is in the center of the overall garden area.

Come see our trials in action. Master Gardeners staff the Trials Garden every Wednesday, year around, from 11am to 1pm. In addition, we do a summer series of free garden workshops on the 4th Saturdays. 

University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley

The 34-acre UC Botanical Garden is one of the most diverse landscapes in the world, with over 10,000 types of plants including many rare and endangered species.  Organized geographically, the Garden features 9 regions of naturalistic plantings from Italy to South Africa, along with a major collection of California native plants.  The Garden was established in 1890 and its living collections are invaluable resources for international research and conservation.

The Gardens at Heather Farm

The Gardens at Heather Farm is an independent nonprofit organization operating a free public garden, education center and special event venue on six picturesque acres in Walnut Creek, CA.

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.

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.

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