School Gardens Are
School gardens are taking root throughout the United States. Many cities, such as New York and Chicago, have programs devoted to helping schools plan, fundraise, and construct gardens in their school yards. California and Arizona even have a collective network to guide public schools interested in starting a project. Momentum is building as educators and parents recognize the wealth of learning that can be gained by engaging students in school garden projects.
Curricula pertinent to all subject areas are also available in many places online, such as Bird Sleuth and Edible School Yard, to guide learning in these living laboratories. Schools are more and more convinced of the multiple benefits to embracing the school garden movement.
Research has documented that time spent outside increases attention, and ultimately learning, leading many schools to prioritize opportunities for their students to connect to the natural world. Whatever the motivation, whether driving down obesity rates by giving kids direct access to fresh vegetables, or providing opportunities to teach students about native plants, birds, and other wildlife, schools are starting to see gardens as an essential component to education.
Still not convinced? Watch this video on the the amazing interdisciplinary work one school is doing in California to bring gardens into their curriculum.