What is a community garden?

It can be any piece of land gardened by a group of people. It can be…

  • Urban
  • Suburban
  • Rural
  • In a school
  • At a hospital
  • In a neighborhood

It can grow…

  • Flowers or vegetables!

Why start a community garden?A community garden can…

  • Improve the quality of life for people in the garden
  • Provide a catalyst for neighborhood and community development
  • Stimulate Social Interaction
  • Encourage Self-Reliance
  • Beautify Neighborhoods
  • Produce Nutritious Food
  • Reduce Family Food Budgets
  • Conserve Resources
  • Create opportunity for recreation, exercise, therapy, and education
  • Reduce Crime
  • Preserve Green Space
  • Create income opportunities and economic development
  • Reduce city heat from streets and parking lots
  • Provide opportunities for intergenerational and cross-cultural connections

Why teach gardening in your classroom?

A class garden (being a model of a community garden) will create a classroom community that will reap the benefits mentioned above! Students will discover where their food comes from and the work involved in its production. This classroom garden may lead into a larger project resulting in a community garden in your students' neighborhoods.

How do I start a classroom garden?

  • Check out your state science standards
  • Use questions from this site to connect to your students' background knowledge
  • Allow students to explore the gardening process (observe and visit a local garden)
  • Gather materials (seeds, soil, planters, etc.)
  • Plant seeds
  • Care for plants (transplant outside if possible)
  • Dissect some of the plants to learn about parts of a plant and how they grow
  • Harvest for a healthy snack (be aware of food allergies and parental consent)
  • Link the gardening concept to other important ecological concepts (i.e. photosynthesis, the water cycle, composting, micro-communities, and the social aspects of building community)

Here is an example of our Exploring Your World Day Community Garden display:

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To learn more about the American Community Garden Association, click here: American Community Gardening Association

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