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Welcome to the San Joaquin County Master Gardeners School Garden Website


We have created this resource guide as an informational tool to assist teachers, administrators, parents, and others who want to install, rejuvenate, or maintain a garden at their local school as an educational experience for all students and their communities.

While we consider these listings reliable gardening sources and have made every effort to determine that the contact information is accurate, San Joaquin County Master Gardeners do not endorse or recommend any resources other than those operating under the auspices of the University of California Cooperative Extension.


Why Start a School Garden?


A school garden program can bring nature and agriculture to life on campus. School gardens give young people an opportunity to better understand their relationship with nature, creates a dynamic environment for learning core subjects and promotes cooperation through group activities. A garden often encourages self-confidence and a sense of responsibility. Children become excited about math, history, science and nutrition through gardening experiences. Students have the opportunity to learn about where food really comes from. Parents are given an opportunity to get involved with their child by volunteering in the school garden. Most importantly students can learn by doing, getting their hands dirty, thereby becoming immersed in learning.

**Life Labs Value of Garden based Learning - contains a collection of summary documents and peer reviewed article databases on the benefits of school gardens and garden based learning. 

Helpful Online Resources

There are many organizations out there designed to help teachers, parents and staff in starting or maintaining a school garden.

Click here to see a collection of websites, programs and resources that are available to help get you started and support your school garden. Includes resources like LifeLab and CA School Garden Network.

Linking to State Standards and Other Curriculum Related Resources

Contact Us

If you would like to request a Master Gardener School Garden Consultant, click here. Once you submit your request, a volunteer will be assigned to your school who will contact you to arrange the first meeting.

Grants and Funding Opportunities

Funding can make or break your gardening plans but don’t be too daunted, there are many ways to find the resources you need. Although cash is the most flexible resource, offers of materials and labor can be just as valuable, so be imaginative about who you approach, and open to all suggestions. It is also worth bearing in mind that it’s easier to find funds to start a project than to maintain and develop it, so on-going commitments are particularly valuable.

Available Grants - Collection of grants from multiple web-sites


Healthy Fundraisers

Grant Searching Resources

Funding a Garden Coordinator

Grant Writing Tips

Donations and Other Free Stuff

How Can the Master Gardeners Help?

Whether you want to build a new garden or garden support for an existing garden at your school our Master Gardeners are available to consult with your school garden team and can help you evaluate your garden site, advise you on garden needs (tools, irrigation, fencing, storage etc.), and offer suggestions on bed size and soil preparation. We can recommend plant material based on the goals of your garden, help you establish compost or worm bins and answer your garden and bug questions.

All Master Gardeners have been finger-printed and have passed background screening by the California Department of Justice. We follow horticultural practices appropriate within adopted University California Cooperative Extension guidelines and established Integrated Pest Management Techniques.

Click here to request an initial school garden consultation

Click here to request a pre-site visit 

Four Pillars of School Gardens

Environmental Stewardship

A school garden is a powerful environmental education tool. Through gardening, students become responsible caretakers. They have an opportunity to engage in agricultural practices on a small scale, learning about the responsibilities and impacts of land cultivation. They explore the web of interactions among the living and nonliving players that sustain life. By doing so, they develop a greater understanding of the natural world. For many children, a garden offers the only chance to get close to nature. Read more here.

Community and Social Development

Community and social development lessons do not receive the attention of academic achievement, but they are as crucial to the survival of our country as reading and writing. Children must learn how to take responsibility for their environment and develop a strong sense of community to ensure the continuation of our society. Read more here.

A Healthy Lifestyle

Beyond academics, the garden provides broader life lessons including contributing to students’ knowledge of how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The state of California is experiencing a major health crisis as the number of overweight and obese youth is growing at an epidemic rate. Read more here.

Academic Achievement

Academic achievement is the primary focus of educators throughout the country. Emphasis is placed on ensuring students perform at satisfactory levels guided by local, state and national academic standards. All lessons and activities must complement mandatory standards to merit the use of valuable classroom time. Read more here.

*For more reasons, research documents and peer reviewed articles why you should have a school garden, click here.

collection of summary documents and peer reviewed article databases - See more at: http://www.lifelab.org/for-educators/schoolgardens/whyschoolgardens/#sthash.84vKcu2i.dpuf

**Taken from the Collective School Garden Network