The School Garden Resource
The outdoor classroom is an excellent environment in which to build personal and communication skills, connect core curriculum to concrete applied experiences, and coach children in the exercise of stewardship of the natural world. The critical function of a school garden is the process of learning. Through the basic principles of horticulture (the growing and cultivation of plants), a garden must be planned and designed to meet the educational needs of those children who will steward it. Guided by clearly established goals, children are rewarded each day by connecting with their environment. Horticulture lessons can provide valuable insights that prepare them for a healthy, empowered, and compassionate way of living while lesson extensions inside the formal classroom can thematically teach English, math, and the science related to gardening.
Why School Gardens?
A school garden gives young people an opportunity to better understand their relationship with natural resources and creates a dynamic environment for learning core subjects. Children can be taught to conserve natural resources and preserve the environment. A garden often encourages self-confidence and a sense of responsibility and belonging to one community. A garden can also bring a community together. Senior citizens, parents, students, and community members can work together on designing, building, and maintaining the garden as well as teaching the students after it is established. By getting help from many hands, the gardening experience becomes enjoyable for all. Remember to document all the steps in building your garden, and share it with your students and the community upon completion.