Outdoor Classroom Resources
- K-5 Outdoor Classroom Curricula
- Resource Digest Archives
- Local Resources
- Horticultural Resources
- School Garden-Related Organizations
- Local Environmental Education Organizations
- Grants/Grant Writing
- Local Organizations that Provide Volunteers
- Getting Started
- Grey to Green Video
For technical help, email help AT educationoutside DOT org.
Check out our book, from Timber Press, called How to Grow a School Garden: A Complete Guide for Parents and Teachers! 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. ~Here is some of the praise:
"For decades National Gardening Association has documented the academic, social, and health benefits realized by youth gardening programs. A well-designed school garden program is a tremendously valuable tool to help young people turn book knowledge into experiential knowledge, and "How To Grow A School Garden" is a must have resource for anyone considering embarking on a youth gardening adventure." --Mike Metallo, President, National Gardening Association
"Finally, it's here: a practical, concise blueprint for funding, building, planting, and maintaining a school garden. Arden Bucklin-Sporer and Rachel Pringle are veterans of the outdoor classroom, and so they know best how to nurture a child's inner gardener. How to Grow a School Garden should be required reading for any teacher or parent who truly cares about raising a new generation of healthy eaters." --Novella Carpenter, author of "Farm City: the Education of an Urban Farmer"
“How to Grow a School Garden is a valuable tool for creating rich learning experiences and helping children reconnect to the natural world. The guide is comprehensive yet simple to follow and full of inspirational ideas.” --Richard Louv, author of "Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder"
"What a marvelous blueprint How to Grow a School Garden is for school gardeners everywhere. The authors have not only provided an invaluable guide for getting started, they have given us a comprehensive toolkit for growing and sustaining a school garden and a plant and bug based curriculum. As a time when we are at grave danger of boring our naturally curious children with drill and kill memorization, here is a powerful hands-on learning guide that will make learning come alive in the living laboratories of school gardens. Bravo Arden and Rachel for improving the learning landscape, even as you are promoting our children's health!" --Delaine Eastin, California Superintendent of Public Instruction 1995-2003
Also check out Sharon Dank's book, called Asphalt to Ecosystems.
"Asphalt to Ecosystems is a compelling color guidebook for designing and building natural schoolyard environments that enhance childhood learning and play experiences while providing connection with the natural world." -New Village Press