The School Gardens Project is an initiative of the Regional Environmental Council’s UGROW program, and is designed to bring the educational, nutritional, and social benefits of gardening to schools and youth education centers. It began in March 2010 and was sponsored by the Worcester Food & Active Living Policy Council’s Hunger-Free & Healthy project. During the project’s first year we partnered with 6 Worcester Public schools to create outdoor classrooms at each site. Since 2010, we have expanded the network to include 22 school garden sites.
Our vision is to cultivate well rounded learners who not only excel in math, science, and language arts, but can grow their own food. Our hope is that through providing students with a safe environment to plant, grow, and learn within the garden that they are able to build a relationship with the natural world, develop a sense of environmental stewardship, and foster a commitment to care for and better their community. We intend to make this vision a reality through partnering with the Worcester Public School System, fellow community organizations, local businesses, city officials, local and regional foundations, and volunteers.
The School Garden Project provides the following services to school garden sites:
Participating schools are required to:
Create a garden committee. This committee can be made up of teachers, staff, students, and parents. The committee is responsible for planning, building, and maintaining the garden. The purpose of the committee is to make sure that the garden is a collaborative process, and that it does not depend on one person alone for maintenance. In our experience, gardens are most successful when the garden responsibilities are shared. This helps to create extensive ownership, as well as decreases the likelihood that the garden will become the responsibility of one individual.
Have a Maintenance Plan. The purpose of the maintenance plan is to make sure that the garden is taken care of all year round. It can be very simple or more involved depending on the concerns of the committee.
Draft a Building Plan. The purpose of the building plan is to help prepare for the actual construction day. Important details to consider are finalizing the garden location and layout, deciding the date of the build day, and determining who will help build the garden.
For more information on School Gardens programs or how to get involved, please contact:
School Gardens AmeriCorps VISTA
School Garden Network List
|Belmont Street Community SchoolChandler Elementary SchoolChestnut Daycare
Columbus Park Elementary School
Doherty Memorial High School
Elm Park Daycare
Goddard School of Science & Technology
Grafton Street School
Greendale Head Start
Jacob Hiatt Elementary School
May Street School
|Mill Swan A & B Head StartNorth HighQuinsigamond Village Community Center
Seven Hills Charter Public School
South High School
Sullivan Middle School
University Park Campus School
Worcester Educational Garden
Worcester Public Library
Worcester Technical High School
Worcester Youth Center