Planning the Garden
In scouring resources for this month’s newsletter on steps in planning a school garden, I came upon this website from California. The following ideas come from the book Gardens for Learning sponsored by the California School Garden Network. This publication is free to download as a pdf or you could opt to buy a hard copy.
• Seek administrative approval
• Create a support network
• Identify goals and linking the garden to your curriculum
• Design the garden
• Identify supply needs and funding needs
• Obtain supplies and funds
• Plant the garden
• Maintain the garden
• Sustain the garden
The need for a support network is essential to the sustainability of the school garden. In talking with several schools this year, if there could be one identifier as to why a garden is unsuccessful, it is largely due to the fact that there are a few teachers responsible for all the workings of the garden. Creating a coalition or board of interested parties, including community members, parents, food service members, etc., spreads out the work load and activates a large pool of skilled volunteers.
If your school garden has a board or coalition, or you would be willing to share keys to your garden’s success, the MSGN website would love to add your advice for others. Also, if you have photos from your school garden, we would like to post these as well (with permission and releases in order). Simply send any hints, tips, photos, etc. to me and I would be happy to post it for you!
Coordinator, Maine School Garden Network