Our “Garden for Every School” vision requires a multi-faceted approach that provides several types of support for teachers, schools and gardens. The four core pieces of our strategy include: District support, garden expertise (a FoodCorps service member), school grants, and a garden educator network.
We’ll break down each of these strategies in more detail.
Strategy #3: District Support for School Gardens
Let’s face it – it can be hard to garden here in Central Oregon. Even more so for schools, when students are gone for most of the growing season.
For a school garden to be sustainable in Central Oregon, a lot of things need to be considered before digging in:
What’s the purpose of the garden? Who is going to use it? How can it support curriculum? Where is the best location? Is it compatible with other uses and needs of the school grounds? Who takes care of it over the summer?
It’s evident there are a lot of challenges to overcome, which is why we intend to collaborate with various departments within local schools and school districts. Our goal is to make sure that when a teacher wants to build a garden, they do so in a way that will be long-lasting and beneficial to everyone. We want to work with all necessary constituents so that each garden is built the right way from the beginning, and for the right reasons.
For some schools it may be building or expanding a raised-bed garden. For others, it may be purchasing indoor growing systems for use during the school year. For others, it may be a pollinator garden and outdoor classroom, or a solidified partnership with a community garden nearby.
Supporting gardens within a school district framework also allows for opportunities to identify district-wide curriculum connections. When there’s a garden or outdoor learning space available, teachers can easily find ways to support and enhance existing curriculum.
Beginning this fall, our new FoodCorps member, Claire, will be assisting us in identifying these curriculum connections. She will also help us to collaborate with different district departments to support sustainable, garden-based learning.
Read more about our whole strategy here.
Make your donation to our “Garden For Every School” campaign here.