Rally a team of enthusiastic supporters to create a garden that will last for years to come.
In your first year, your goal is to gather together a team of enthusiastic supporters who will help you create a thriving school garden that will last for years to come.
At the beginning, you want to be both inclusive and focused. Your garden will attract supporters once critical mass builds, but you will need to jump start interest in the beginning. Invite the entire community to participate in creating the garden by personally inviting folks to workshops, putting up posters advertising garden days, and sending out newsletters to interested networks.
Ask your principal for a space on the lobby bulletin board to post photos and info about upcoming garden work days or events. Set up a garden table at your Back-to-School Night to spread the word and solicit classroom parent volunteers. Make sure to be in continuous communication with your community. For folks to be truly invested in their garden, every volunteer needs to feel listened to! Trust that with time, consistent communication, and a reliable work day schedule, you will inspire a strong support network to gather around the garden.
- Reach out to the whole community. Send out an announcement about the garden to your school with the support of your principal. Remember, even in the digital age, hard copies and face-time go a long way.
- Identify interested and motivated teachers. Having at least two to three teachers willing to experiment with a garden lesson is a solid place to start. Find enthusiastic teachers who are leaders. Next year, you’ll depend on this group to teach their peers.
- Connect with your parents. Parents are vital for helping manage and organize your garden. Having parent help greatly encourages teachers to experiment with garden classes. Connect with the head of your PTA-he or she may be able to offer funding or garden representation on the board.