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Garden Overview & Resource Checklist

Before designing your school garden, take stock of what your community has and needs.

Garden Overview & Resource Checklist
Scott Sporleder, Photographer

This article is a part of our Grow Your Own! School Garden program. If you’re a school garden leader, find more resources just for you on our Educator page!

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Harvest your resources for a garden that saves you time and money.

Identifying and gathering the resources already available at your school will save you time and money before designing your garden.

A garden overview is like a fact sheet for your garden and includes all of your information and resources. A resource checklist helps you identify what you have, including potential challenges, and classifies them.

PART I – SAMPLE GARDEN OVERVIEW

Making a basic overview fact sheet is a great place to start.

Alipaz Elementary School Garden Overview

In an effort to explore the possibility of creating a learning garden, we have enlisted the support of staff and community members and researched standards-based curriculum that could be applied in the outdoor classroom.

Garden Committee Richard Sanchez (parent)
Giovanni Parker (teacher)
Key Teachers Rachel Keller (Lead science teacher)
Doris Engle (2nd grade)
Possible Curriculum The Growing Classroom, Grow Your Own! lessons, FOSS Science Kits
Potential Program Connections  The outdoor learning laboratory would serve as a space for hands on science experiments. Harvested produce can supplement and provide menu ideas for Home Ec. classes.
Location  South side of school by Kindergarten classrooms
Maintenance  Families and crew from local hardware store will construct garden over one month period, families will maintain in exchange for produce from the garden.
Funding The committee will request a small started grant of $500 from the PTA and will hold a monthly farmers market to sustain maintenance needs.

Based on sample garden overview in:
Bucklin-Sporer, Arden. How to Grow a School Garden; a Complete Guide for Teachers and Parents. Portland: Timber Press. 2010.

PART II – RESOURCE CHECKLIST

Identifying your existing resources as well as some immediate obstacles will help you prioritize and plan.

Key:

P = People $ = Money M = Materials A = Activities & Programs

Alipaz Elementary School Garden Resource Checklist

Resources (R) Obstacles (O)
$ = local garden club donates $500 a year P = Teachers are resistant to coming to the garden, see it as extra work
A = after-school club maintains the garden P = fewer parents involved in the garden than previous years
A = school has designated classes P = parent volunteers need training and ideas
P = established PTA liaison A = Lack science curriculum for grades 4-6
M = local mushroom farm promised 1 truckload of compost M = Needs garden beds

Although many people think money comes first, it is actually the second step. Once you know your resources, you can develop a wish list and budget for remaining things you need.