The School Garden Program is dedicated to growing healthier and smarter kids by using school gardens as an educational tool. School gardens provide an amazing opportunity to engage students, teachers, parents, and volunteers, but they also offer their own unique challenges. We understand these challenges and are here to lend you helping hand!
We are excited to support to school gardens in the following ways:
- By offering field trips through Wasatch Community Gardens' Youth Garden Program.
- With our garden curriculums. These year-long guides get your class out in the garden and learning!
- Through our resources page which include tips on everything from keeping a food safe garden to suggested garden design elements and how to execute them!
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!
Parent Garden Club
If you have an engaged parent community and are looking for a way to harness their energy to support your school garden, consider starting a Parent Garden Club with us. Put the garden into the hands of your parent community while building leadership among parent volunteers.
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.
Mountain View Elementary had a wonderfully vibrant community garden in 2013. But, when the new Community learning center was built, the garden got removed.
In 2014, they decided to revive and reinstall the garden at the new Community Learning Center. The newly named Glendale – Mountain View CLC Community Garden now includes a pollinator garden, fruit trees, 30 beds, tool sheds, and an outdoor classroom.
Through community partnerships the Glendale- Mountain View CLC Community garden is able to host kids’ gardening classes, adult workshops, and work parties.
This vibrant school and community garden is excited to have a new home to grow into! The Mountain View School Garden a participant in Wasatch Community Gardens’ School Garden Program since 2014.
The Riley Pride Garden was the brainchild of second grade teacher Christi Paulson. She wanted a place for her students to practice science, observe the natural world, and learn where their food comes from. As a founding member of Slow Food Utah, Christi is passionate about teaching adults and kids about food.
With the help of the Riley faculty and administration, Christi installed 16 small garden beds on an unused patch of grass. The beds are small enough to be easily managed (designed by a teacher for teachers!), but are large enough to grow a salad for the entire class.
The simple design makes for easy garden maintenance, which keeps teachers from burning out. The faculty of Riley Elementary is engaged in their garden, and the students love coming out to watch the pollinators, to see what is growing, and to get their wiggles out!
The Liberty Garden was started in at the old Lincoln school building. During the school demolition and reconstruction, the school struck up a partnership with a Salt Lake City owned community garden. The City set aside three garden beds for the school to use.
The garden has been an amazing partnership! Not only has it allowed the students and teachers to learn about what a community garden is, but it provided a much-needed outdoor classroom during the construction of the new building.
While the new school was being built, the teachers of Lincoln used the garden to observe the changing seasons, to watch things grow, and as a place to just be outside away from the hectic noise of construction.
The school looks forward to deepening the partnership with the city and maintaining the levels of garden-excitement among the teachers!
The Washington School Garden was started in 2017 as a project of the PTA and school administrators. Washington Elementary sits on a very steep site, with the majority of their school grounds being too steep to utilize. The school is hoping to install terracing to create more space for outdoor engagement.
As the first step in the terracing-master-plan, the school carved a small garden space into the hillside. They installed seven feed-trough beds, a small outdoor learning space, and a wildflower garden.
The garden will be used as an outdoor teaching space to learn about growing vegetables and as a ‘work site’ for Washington Elementary School’s behavioral health program. Students with extra behavior management needs get assigned to ‘job sites’ throughout the school where they can put in hours of work to earn school money to spend in the store.
Pacific Heritage Academy is looking forward to parterning with Wasatch Community Gardens to ensure their garden can reach its full potential! While interest in the garden has come and gone in past years, the partnership with Wasatch Community Gardens has provided the revitalizing energy they needed! Pacific Heritage Academy is looking forward to growing all sorts of traditional Polynesian staple crops!
The Open Classroom joined the School Garden Program in 2018 in order to take their already successful program to another level. The Open Classroom hopes to work with Wasatch Community Gardens to elevate their garden space to a full fledged outdroor classroom and teaching space.
The Backman School Garden was started in 2016 by science teacher Gretchen Klinger. The garden has been well loved and utilized by the students in the science program, and now the success of the garden has inspired the school to want to share it! Backman is expanding their garden services to include after school parent programing!
The Rose Park School Garden joined the School Garden Program in 2018 when they asked for support with their parent programing. Their adorable garden has been an institution within the school culture for years, and they are excited to expand to parent programing!
Meadowlark Elementary started their garden in 2015 with a small pot of money from Principal Heidi Greene. The school installed four small garden beds and a sunflower house. A grant from the Whole Kids Foundation allowed the garden to expand in the spring of 2017 to include a shed, outdoor classroom space, water table, and compost corner.The school community is excited about all of the science opportunities that are available out in the garden! The STEM program at Meadowlark is under the direction of Dr. Wendi Lawrence (who used to work for NASA!). She ensures that students have the opportunity to go out to the garden to think critically. From observing the living vs non-living objects in the soil in the digging bed to learning about micro-organisms in the compost corner, Dr. Lawrence has a wide range of programing available in the garden.The students and faculty love their STEM program and have been thrilled to have the garden space to expand their learning with!
The Jackson Elementary Garden joined the School Garden Program in 2018 when they reached out for help with a garden face-lift. Their garden has been part of the school grounds since 2013 and has been showing its age. The partnership with Wasatch Community Gardens will help the parents and students of Jackson revitalize the garden space they have now, and will allow them to start the growing season with new energy!