School Garden Cultivator

Denver Urban Gardens (DUG) supports school-based community gardens that create a bridge between the school and the surrounding community by offering gardening space to students, parents, teachers, and neighbors. Of DUG’s almost 160 community gardens, over 40 are located on Denver Public School (DPS) grounds, with one to three new school-based community gardens in planning each year. DUG believes the lessons offered in a garden are transformative for youth of all ages. Through the wonders of a garden, students experience hands-on lessons in science and nutrition, gardening, and community building. The School Garden Cultivator program provides support to DUG school-based community gardens throughout Denver and empowers students to learn how to grow their own food and the tenets of healthy eating.

The broad goals of the School Garden Cultivator program are to:

  • Reinforce the connection between the garden and the classroom;
  • Strengthen social networks in the school community;
  • Increase use of school gardens year-round;
  • Assist teachers with garden and nutrition lessons.

The School Garden Cultivator program is a seven-week “train the trainer” course designed to educate community volunteers in all aspects of working with youth to foster gardening skills and to promote healthy eating (click here to see the training schedule). This hands-on program teaches participants the skills they need to develop and implement youth education programs. For the 2017/2018 school year, volunteers will lead youth education programs (such as a Youth Farm Stand) at McMeen, Goldrick, or Academia Sandoval Elementary Schools. This training will provide resources and ideas to overcome the organizational and logistical challenges to implement a successful youth education program. Participants will receive 10 hours of instruction covering how to work with and in a school; what are common classes/topics that are of interest and how to teach those topics; how to start a youth garden program, including how to recruit students, how to engage the school and best practices for each program. In exchange for the instruction, participants pay a $25 materials fee, and are required to complete 45 hours of volunteering. Participants will have until August 25th, 2018 to complete their volunteer hours at McMeen, Goldrick, or Academia Sandoval Elementary Schools.

This course has a limit of 15 participants and is open to individuals who demonstrate involvement and/or interest in educating youth in garden and/or classroom settings. Limited scholarships are available to cover the materials fee for qualified applicants. Participants must be able to commit to attend all classes, complete a fingerprint background check, and complete 45 volunteer hours.

If you are interested in this program or if you have any questions, please contact Mikhaela Mullins here or at 303.292.9900 x 101.