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Planning Your School Garden

The Dirt Club Garden at Marin Oaks High School
The Dirt Club Garden at Marin Oaks High School
School gardens are flexible in form and function. Your garden can be an outdoor classroom where you do hands on curriculum-based activities. Your garden can be a place to learn about healthy food, habitats, and nutrition. Your garden can be a place where children visit to enjoy and discover nature.

The key to a successful and sustainable garden program is to define what you want to achieve with the garden and partner with your community (school administrators, teachers, PTA/PTSA, facilities and students) on roles and responsibilities to keep the garden program going. The more people involved, the more likely your school garden is to flourish. You may benefit from visiting other school gardens and/or contacting other community groups (i.e., Marin Master Gardeners; Conservation Corps; Rotary Club etc.)

In developing your garden plan, we recommend you create a vision for the garden and develop goals and objectives.

1.  Discuss the character and purpose of your garden.

a.  school's priority for the space
b.  number of children/classrooms participating
c.  primary uses (science, math, English; a place to gain confidence and enthusiasm for learning)
d.  extra-curricular and community activities
e.  the roles of administrators, teachers, students, parents, volunteers

2.  Analyze/examine the site.

a.  conditions (what stays, what goes)
b.  soil
c.  climate
d.  water
e.  fencing; access
f.   size, shape

3.  Determine needs.

a.  style (edibles, theme gardens...)
c.  maintenance (garden chores; summer vacations)
d.  security (a way to discourage vandalism)

Click here to request a school garden consultation.

Contact: SchoolandCommunityGardens@marinmg.org