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Growing Minds: Installing An Educational Garden

Center Street School's new garden from Borski Productions on Vimeo.

This is what I was doing this past weekend…Installing a garden at a local elementary school (in Los Angeles) so that the teachers can incorporate nature/plants into all aspects of their school curriculum. The kids at this school are going to learn all about gardening, stewardship and the environment while studying math, science, language arts and social studies in this garden space.

AND…You get to see me talking in my flower baseball hat, garden apron and wellie boots!

(I admit that I got a bit excited about the soil arriving! But as gardeners, I know YOU understand.)

Three years of work came together in just a few hours on this day. These wonderful parents and volunteers helped us created something truly awesome here!

Once installed, there are several teams set up to help keep this garden going: The Garden Committee (parents/teachers), The Green Team (4th & 5th grade students), Planet Pals (parents who run the recycling on campus) and Garden Docents (parents who help the teachers with lesson plans) and many, many others…

And how great is it that an elementary school would even consider doing this? PRICELESS!

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About the Author:

Theresa Loe is the founder of Living Homegrown® and the Canning Academy® and is the Co-Executive Producer & Canning Expert on the national PBS gardening series, Growing A Greener World®. Theresa homesteads on just 1/10th of an acre in Los Angeles with her husband, two teenage boys and several disorderly but totally adorable chickens. Learn more about Living Homegrown here and about the Canning Academy here.


  • Joe Lamp'l says:

    Three Cheers for Theresa Loe and every one involved in seeing the importance of putting in this school garden. You guys get it! School age children are the future of gardening and they learn better in a garden. Experiential learning is key and there is no better place than a garden for that. This was a big milestone in a three year plan and now the real fun begins. Please keep us posted on the progress. The video really connected me to this garden so you’ll have to keep us posted on all the exciting developments going forward. Thanks for sharing!

  • Thanks so much Joe!

    I will keep you posted on this and many other wonderful projects going on at this school and several other schools in the area. Many of these schools also have recycling programs with cafeteria waste being composted in the garden. It is all very exciting.

  • TC says:

    I’ve been meanin to get over here and see what all the excitement was about. This is fantastic Theresa! Congratulations! Every school should have at least one educational garden, and I don’t just mean at the elementary level either. This should be a state department of education requirement in each state. Again, congratulations on a great project completion!

    (I was wondering why the chain link fence? It looks like the garden’s in prison.)

  • Hi TC – Thanks for stopping by!

    There was a concern about dogs “going” in the garden (if you know what I mean) because this is an open campus – so anyone can just walk on campus because the front is not fenced. Also, other school gardens have had problems with produce being stolen. If someone really wants the produce, they are going to climb the fence, but it was hoped that it would be a slight deterrent.

    The garden is also right on the playground and the fence is to keep out the soccer balls, etc that will come flying its way. The fence also gives us a place to grow UP with vines. Soon that fence will be covered with something wonderful!

    Boy – wouldn’t it be great if all the schools in CA could have a garden? That is the dream of many people here. But currently we are facing huge budget cuts in CA and teachers are being let go right here in Los Angeles because there is not enough money to keep them. I don’t see gardens at every school happening anytime soon. But a girl can dream…

    This garden was fully funded by grants and donations so no school money was used at all.

  • Samson says:

    Very cool! My son’s school has a garden and for them the next step that they’re working on is building a community garden! They’re going to lease out the plots to community members for $25/year and create a little gardening heaven right in their backyard.

    Isn’t it great when so many people get together for a single cause? I love that sense of shared purpose and camaraderie.

    Way to go!!

  • Hey Samson! Thanks for stopping by. I know you from Twitter!

    Man, I wish we had a community garden like that. How wonderful!

    It is a beautiful thing when people have a shared purpose! I could not agree more!

  • Kate says:

    An inspiring video ~ you’ve done amazing work. The school children will benefit enormously from having this garden.

  • Teresa says:

    How very, very cool!! It’s fun to see you “live”…as it were. I’m so thrilled for everyone involved that it all came together and can’t wait to read updates about this project. 🙂

  • Thanks Kate – I hope many generations of children enjoy the new garden!

    Hey Teresa – Yep, that was me. Now YOU need to do a video so we can all see you “live”. :~)

  • […] that educational garden project I was working on? (We installed an educational garden at a local elementary school. It will be used […]

  • […] a few more weeks of produce from them.I even managed to collect some beautiful Indian Corn from the school garden we planted last spring. The corn was grown in the third grade “Three Sisters Garden”. I dried the […]

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