Professional Development

Professional Development Resources

The materials in this section are provided to help teachers develop their abilities to design and deliver effective curricula integrated into school garden activities. In addition to the materials in this section, the following links provide more information on school garden teacher training programs and materials:

Occidental Arts & Ecology Center School Garden Teacher Trainings & Support

Growing School Gardens: Teacher Training Workshop

Portland State University School Garden Coordinator Certificate Training Program

Life Lab Educator Workshops

Mother Earth School – teacher trainings in educational design, curriculum development and principles of nature-based learning

University of Albany – SUNY: KNILT program of on-line mini-courses

Creating and Sustaining Your School Garden Trainer Materials: Downloadable materials

Western Growers Foundation’s Collective School Garden Network: Lots of downloadable materials for teachers

How to Grow a School Garden: A Complete Guide for Parents & Teachers
Arden Bucklin-Sporer and Rachel Pringle, June 2010, Timber Press

In this groundbreaking resource, two school garden pioneers offer parents, teachers, and school administrators everything they need to know to build school gardens and to develop the programs that support them.

Today both schools and parents have a unique opportunity — and an increasing responsibility — to cultivate an awareness of our finite resources, to reinforce values of environmental stewardship, to help students understand concepts of nutrition and health, and to connect children to the natural world. What better way to do this than by engaging young people, their families, and teachers in the wondrous outdoor classroom that is their very own school garden?

It's all here: developing the concept, planning, fund-raising, organizing, designing the space, preparing the site, working with parents and schools, teaching in the garden, planting, harvesting, and even cooking, with kid-friendly recipes and year-round activities. Packed with strategies, to-do lists, sample letters, detailed lesson plans, and tricks of the trade from decades of experience developing school garden programs for grades K–8, this hands-on approach will make school garden projects accessible, inexpensive, and sustainable.

Reclaiming a piece of neglected play yard and transforming it into an ecologically rich school garden is among the most beneficial activities that parents, teachers, and children can undertake together. This book provides all the tools that the school community needs to build a productive and engaging school garden that will continue to inspire and nurture students and families for years to come.