For over a decade, Denver Urban Gardens has worked in partnership with Denver Public Schools, Slow Food Denver and Learning Landscapes to establish gardens at schools. Of DUG’s 140 community gardens, 40 are located on the grounds of schools, with one to three new school gardens in various stages of planning each year. The expansion includes requests to accommodate the needs of older students in middle and high school. DUG is committed to supporting each community garden in ways appropriate to that garden’s particular needs, including developing a partnership between the school community and surrounding neighbors to strengthen garden sustainability.
We believe the lessons offered in a garden are life changing for children of all backgrounds, but in particular, those from disadvantaged neighborhoods. Through the wonders of a garden, students experience hands-on lessons in: biology and ecology, horticulture, wellness and nutrition, recycling, composting, and community building. In support of school gardens, DUG offers an integrated nutrition and gardening curriculum to school communities.
Denver Urban Gardens’ resources and programming in school garden and nutrition education include:
- School Garden and Nutrition Curriculum
Our seasonal approach to teaching builds a bridge for students between gardening, nutrition and science using standards-aligned lessons for the classroom and the garden.
- Connecting Generations Volunteer Mentor Program
We believe the effectiveness of our work in school gardens is enhanced when it is supported by a committed group of volunteers, which might include on-site community gardeners, parents, grandparents or neighbors.
- Helping Kids Get Healthy: A Workshop Series For Youth Educators
This ongoing workshop series is designed for teachers and volunteers who want to incorporate lessons in nutrition and gardening into their curriculum.
- Youth Farmers’ Markets
In partnership with Slow Food Denver, Denver Urban Gardens works with local schools to coordinate youth-run farmers’ markets.
- Benefits of School-Based Community Gardens: A compilation of research findings
Use this summary of research findings to support your garden programming. It includes findings related to academic achievement, physical health, social and emotional health and school and community benefits.