The California School Garden Network (CSGN) has compiled a booklet entitled: ‘Gardens for Learning: Creating and Sustaining Your School Garden’. This helpful book offers advice on incorporating the garden into classroom curricula, as well as funding your garden and general planting information. CSGN also offers a supplement to this book which was designed to assist teachers in incorporating the garden into the California state standards curricula (see link below).
During the Fall and Winter seasons when the garden may not be in peak operation, there are still several things you can do to maintain and sustain your garden. The following suggestions come from Dorothy Peterson, School Garden Coordinator in Davis Joint Unified School District. These can be found on page 85 of ‘Gardens for Learning’.
- Create a garden logo. Logos are a great way to create an identity for the garden and they make the garden more recognizable to funding sources. Also, have your students help create a catchy tagline for the garden.
- Make sure your school gardens have a strong marker on the school’s website or its own webpage. This provides visibility for parents and promotes communication about the garden to the community. It also gives you a reference page for funding sources.
- Write a “Garden Corner” piece in the school newsletter. The newsletter should be printed in English and any other language common among the student population.
- Recruit gardening parents at Back-to-School Nights. Remember to follow up recruitment with a couple of training sessions that will accommodate both stay-at-home and working parents.
- Send out a letter of request for donations. This can be done during the Fall or Winter.
- Look for unique funding opportunities within your school and community. Check for grants outside of the school district that focus on water wise planting, alternative curricula, healthy schools, etc.
To access ‘Gardens for Learning’ as an online book, click on the following hyperlink: http://www.csgn.org/page.php?id=36.
A free copy of ‘Gardens for Learning: Linking State Standards to Your School Garden’ can be requested or downloaded directly from: http://www.cfaitc.org/gardensforlearning/.