If you’re just getting started putting in a school garden, these resources can help you plan, build, and budget for long term success. This video, although speaking specifically about building gardens for young children, gives great information on starting any garden from scratch.
Main steps to planning a new school garden:
- Get permission from the school administration.
- Get organized–start a garden binder to record what you do.
- Find support–work with teachers and school administrators to see who is interested in participating in the garden and identify parent and community volunteers.
- With your team, visit other gardens to get ideas.
- Engage students in the planning process and create opportunities for them to become invested in the garden as well.
- Put your garden plan on paper, including its location at the school, design for the beds, and a list of crops.
- Identify financial resources.
- Call to check for underground utilities before you dig.
- Share your vision of the garden with others to create even more buy-in and support.
- USDA School Garden Fact Sheet: This fact sheet from the USDA may be useful when looking for support from school administrators and staff.
- Planning a Garden: First Steps: This section of a larger document will help you get started in your garden plan.
- Video: “Starting a Garden”: This recording of a session at the 2012 Georgia Organics Conference gives a comprehensive overview of everything you need to start a garden.
- How to Build a Raised Bed: These written instructions are an easy how-to for creating your own raised beds.
- Woolly School Gardens: These vertical gardens can be hung on walls, fences, or anywhere with a little space.
- Garden for Wildlife: Consider turning part of your garden into a space for wildlife. The National Wildlife Federation has this useful how-to guide for creating schoolyard habitats.
- Create a Classroom in Your Garden: These ideas can help you turn your outdoor space into a classroom complete with tables and chairs.
- Planning First to Make Your Outdoor Classroom Last: This extensive guide from the Georgia Wildlife Federation has wonderful tips on best management practices for creating and sustaining outdoor classrooms.
- Slow Food USA’s School Garden Guide: From design, implementation and curriculum to fundraising, volunteers and school policy, this comprehensive “how-to” guide offers a clear roadmap for developing a successful school garden program in any community, based on Slow Food values of good, clean, and fair food for all.