School Garden Program

The School Garden Program is dedicated to growing healthier and smarter kids by using school gardens as an educational tool.  School gardens provide such an amazing opportunity to engage students, teachers, parents, and volunteers, but they also offer their own unique challenges.  The Wasatch Community Gardens School Garden Program is here to meet you where you're at and lend a helping hand!

We are excited to support to school gardens in the following ways:

If your school would like support beyond the offerings listed, consider becoming part of the School Garden Program!

Become Part of the School Garden Program

Wasatch Community Gardens' School Garden Program offers support to school gardens in the Salt Lake Valley. We know that running a school garden has different needs and challenges from most other community gardens. WCG is here to help you manage those needs; whether it's supporting a school in getting their garden going, providing support through changes in garden leadership, or helping educators incorporate the garden into their classrooms. We will work to help you reach the next level of growing and eating fresh foods in your garden!

Tier 1: Teaching Gardens

Are you interested in having all the benefits of a Tier 2 school, and additionally have Wasatch Community Gardens' staff teach engaging lessons to your students?  Tier 1 gardens will receive 4 weeks a year of direct teaching in the garden by Wasatch Community Gardens' staff.  Staff will come to the school and spend a week teaching garden lessons to every student in the school.  Teachers will be able to 'shadow' the garden lesson to observe how to manage a classroom out in the garden, and will be given follow up lesson plans to keep their students engaged.  Because your school garden will be used for teaching, Wasatch Community Gardens' staff will also assist the school with work parties and management of the garden.

Tier 1 schools will recieve all of the Tier 2 benefits PLUS:

  • Four weeks of garden-based classes taught by Wasatch Community Gardens' staff with every lesson including a seasonally apporpriate snack.
  • Work parties and volunteer days organized by Wasatch Community Garden' staff and with the garden leadership team of the school.

The Tier 1 Program is currently full. 

Tier 2: Consultation Gardens

Do you have a school garden with an engaged and excited staff and community, but would like some outside support to take your project to the next level?  Participating as a Tier 2 school can help you fully utilize the garden as a teaching space, and offer support as you go through garden development, expansion, or a change of leadership.  By signing up to be a part of Wasatch Community Gardens' School Garden Program at the Tier 2 level, you will receive: 

  • Access to Wasatch Community Gardens' staff time in the form of four site visits a year (read more about what site visits are all about)
  • Scholarships for two people to attend one of the School Garden Leadership Trainings (either "Before you Break Ground" or "It's Built, Now What?")
  • Scholarships to Wasatch Community Gardens' standard fee organic gardening workshops
  • Volunteer work crews for large garden projects (as available)
  • Access to Wasatch Community Gardens' Seedling Share

Download an information pamphlet about the Tier 2 program

Apply to become a Tier 2 School

School Garden Program Scholarship Application

Participating Schools

Escalante Elementary School

The Escalante Explorer Garden was established in 2005 when the students and faculty noticed that their new soccer field was constantly flooding.  They reached out to the Division of Natural Resources to find out why, and discovered an artesian well in their field!

The faculty wrote and were rewarded with a grant from National Geographic and The Ford Foundation, which let them daylight the well, install a teaching pond, and build the Explorer Garden.

Today, the school maintains its partnership with the DNR.  The wildlife specialists help the school raise and care for endangered fish species in their school pond.  They take them out of the pond to release them into the wild, helping the species start to recover and work to move off the endangered list.

The students and faculty also take their exploratory attitudes to the garden, where they like to observe the soil, plants, and weather.  The Escalante Explorer Garden has been an active participant in Wasatch Community Gardens’ School Garden Program since 2014.

We are also thrilled to be hosting a whole bunch of workshops dedicated to the school gardener.  Take a look at the 2017 summer line-up:

2017 School Garden Workshops

The curriculum workshops are designed to give you one semester worth of lesson plans, planting plans, and recipes. For anyone looking for a ‘guideline’ on what to plant, how to teach about what you’ve planted, and how to turn what you’ve grown into a snack for the whole class, these workshops are for you!

Please note, the material covered in the May 20 & 23 workshops will be the same, and the material covered in the Sept 26 & Oct 7 workshops will be the same.  We are teaching the same material on two different days to offer a variety of time options.  It is strongly recommended that you sign up for ONE spring and ONE fall workshop together to receive a full years worth of planting and teaching plans!  (For example, sign up for the May 20th and the October 7th classes at the same time)

Sat, May 20th 10am-12pm Cooking Curriculum: Growing a summer and fall crop, Eating in the Classroom

Tues, May 23rd 6pm-8pm Cooking Curriculum: Growing a summer and fall crop, Eating in the Classroom

Tues, Sept. 26th 6-8 Cooking Curriculum: Growing a spring crop, Eating in the Classroom

Sat, Oct. 7th 10-12 Cooking Curriculum: Growing a spring crop, Eating in the Classroom

If you’re looking to start a school garden or you already have a garden and need pointers on how to manage it or how to expand it, we have two workshops this summer for you.

Tues, June 13th 6-8 Starting a School Garden: Before You Break Ground

If you are interested in starting a school garden, need guidance, advice or tips about your school garden, or have general questions about community or school gardens, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., School Garden Program Director, or call her at 801.359.2658 x18