One of the very active segments of the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) San Diego Master Gardener programs is the School Garden Program. The School Garden Program provides free school consultants to approximately 300 pre-K through 12th grade schools (public, private, and charter) in San Diego County.
The Master Gardener school garden consultants work with individual schools throughout the county on establishing and/or maintaining an edible or nature garden (or both!). The support the school garden consultants provide varies from school to school and is tailored to the school’s needs. Some schools only need a consultant to get the school started with their garden. Other schools want a consultant to work with them throughout each school year.
With schools focusing more on nutrition, gardens provide students with outdoor and classroom learning opportunities. These learning opportunities support student learning in science, social studies, math, language arts, and even the arts. And the learning can be fun! (Have you seen a five year old eat raw zucchini they grew?).
The all-volunteer UCCE Master Gardener school garden program supports and mentors classroom teachers throughout the county as students learn how to grow and enjoy healthy foods.
Please contact UCCE if you are interested in starting or maintaining a school garden by visiting their website and clicking on “School Program”.
Article written by Diane Bailey, UCCE San Diego Master Gardener School Garden Consultant