Creating a School Garden
Many children do not have the opportunity to experience gardening or nature in a learning atmosphere. Teaching children how to be good stewards of our natural resources is of vital importance. A good school garden program can be a wonderful asset for students, teachers and volunteers, but it should not be started without careful planning.
Steps for Starting a School Garden
Form a Garden Committee after answering the following questions:
- Is there interest in starting a school garden?
- Are there teachers willing to lead the program and develop curriculum? Ongoing Science Department participation is critical.
- Is there community interest?
- Do you have volunteers?
- Will parents participate?
- Will this be an after school program, during school program or both?
- What is the school’s goal for the program?
- What percentage of the school population will be affected by the garden?
- HOW WILL THE PROGRAM BE SUSTAINED?
Before you design your garden be sure you are familiar with what's allowed.
- Get Principal Approval
- Notify School District Maintenance
- Get District Grounds Approval
- City Fees & Permits?
- Create a Funding Plan – view possible funding assistance sources
- Accessibility - Americans with Disabilities Act Compliance
Select a site for your school garden. Here are some things to consider:
- Access to Water
- Hours of Sun
- Foot Traffic
Design the Garden – things to consider:
- Water Access Points
- Rows or Raised Beds, Size, Materials (wood, stone, cinder blocks, etc.)
- Tool Storage
- Compost Area
- Shade Structure
- Planting Materials and Schedule - Visit our Plants for Collin County page.
Before you get started...a few more things to think about:
- Student Safety Rules
- Call Texas 811 before digging: http://texas811.org/
- Texas public schools are required by Texas law to adhere to the school Integrated Pest Management rules.
- Construction Schedule
- Maintenance Plan (including summer months)
Visit our Youth Education page for a list of additional resources that might be helpful.
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