Workshops in school gardening

dream. create. enjoy

Cleveland has a long history of nurturing and educating students through gardens on school grounds. Their existence comes and goes often due to the age-old challenges of resources, both time and money. However, school gardens provide a valuable platform for educating all abilities by engaging the students in hands-on, inquiry based education and connecting students with nature.

Cleveland Botanical Garden offers a series of two-hour workshops designed to make the addition of a school garden to your community both enjoyable and educational. The workshops can be taken as a series or taken individually, depending on the particular needs of your school or schools. Each workshop can – and should – involve a wide cross-section of your school community, from administration to faculty to staff to parents.

Contact Sharon Graper at 440-602-3843 or with questions or to schedule.

Dream - Planning Your Garden

Create a foundation for the success of your school garden with our Dream workshops.

Laying the Groundwork

This session provides an overview of a school gardening program. Participants learn the elements of a school gardening program, who should be involved in it and how they will benefit from it, and how Cleveland Botanical Garden can help in its establishment. Ways of generating interest and ideas from the entire school community are addressed using a creative, open-inquiry process. Forming a school garden team that is central to the program is covered. Guidance in imagining a vision and mission is provided.

Incorporating the School Garden into Curriculum

The foundation of any school garden program is the curricular opportunities inherent within it. This session focuses on ways to connect the garden to the existing school curriculum and the state standards for grades K-12. All subjects can be taught using a school garden which will be demonstrated in this session. Connections to Ohio State Standards are also discussed.


Create - Planting Your Garden

Choose from among these workshops to get started creating a school garden for YOUR school.

How Will YOUR Garden Grow? Preliminary Planning

The placement and design of a school garden are important to its successful function in the life of a school and as a teaching tool. Participants learn preliminary steps in garden design, including on-site analysis and mapping. Various design possibilities are presented. Student involvement tied to curricular objectives is stressed.

How Will YOUR Garden Grow? Final Design and Budgeting

Participants learn how to create a final garden design incorporating a plant list and a features list. Based on the final design, a comprehensive budget is generated along with suggested resources.

Installation 101

Based on their garden design, participants learn correct planting techniques, and to install hardscape elements and other large features, such as seating and garden beds. Safety issues are addressed as are the tools needed for these steps.

Planting Day!

Time to take all of your knowledge, put it to use, and get dirty in the process! Participants learn how to involve the entire school community in planting and celebrating their garden. Celebration activities are discussed, along with responsibilities and scheduling.



Enjoy - Maintaining Your Garden

Reap the benefits of your school garden by learning best maintenance practices.

Gardening 101

Demonstrations on how to garden are provided, based on a particular team’s level of collective expertise. General plant care, plant requirements, and some basic botany are presented, including water requirements, soil structure, and infrastructure needs.

School Garden Maintenance and Trouble-shooting

Here, we address issues of maintenance once the garden is planted to ensure ongoing success. We outline how to integrate the school garden program into the life of the school community. Maintenance and expansion of the physical garden space, as well as the team, their community connections, and curricular connections are all covered.