How do I get a garden at my school?
Teachers, parents, or students interested in bringing gardens to their school site should email to begin discussing the steps involved in building a school garden. Once interest has been established, a meeting at the school involving GO staff, the school's principal, and at least one interested teacher is planned to develop a timeline and funding options for the gardens. Every school is required to have a one or more "point" teachers that aid in the scheduling of garden lessons (a small time commitment of a few hours a month). Additional parents and staff that are interested in helping with the gardens are welcome at every meeting to help move the project further.
How much does it cost to start a garden?
General cost to start a 6 raised bed garden at a school is $3000. This figure includes all supplies (wood, soil, hardware, landscaping fabric, woodchips, etc.), labor to build the gardens, and the first year of educational programming including seed sowing, transplanting, other garden activities, and all related supplies for those activities. This figure is also a one time cost, and schools are not required to pay a yearly garden fee, although they are strongly encouraged to do a small yearly fundraiser (~$200-500) to help cover garden education lessons provided by GO, upkeep costs, and expansion projects. GO is also flexible with sites that would like to start with a smaller garden project and expand over a few years.
Who does the upkeep during the summer months?
Growing Oshkosh coordinates the weeding and watering through summer interns, student groups, and parents in the school community. Each spring, schools with a garden send home a letter inviting parents to sign up for a weekly school garden email update. At this time parents can also volunteer for 1-2 weeks of watering duty for their garden over the summer months.
Do you have programs? How can I get my child(ren) involved?
Yes! Please refer to our Programs page and see the family and student offerings listed there.
Frequently Asked Questions & Testimonials
"We love our school garden! Our kids were very excited to help plant the gardens in the spring. Our family dinners often include herbs or veggies the kids pick. Volunteering to water and care for the garden for a few weeks in the summer is a great family activity. We all walk, skate or ride scooters to the garden together after dinner, and stop to play on the playground before walking home. Its a wonderful way for the kids to unplug from their devices and take pride in their caring for our community. Sometimes we see neighbors and classmates at the garden, too! The garden is more than a fun way to learn about food, it also helps strengthen our ties to our community and each other by creating a place to meet, learn, and grow together. Thank you Growing Oshkosh!"
-Merrill Elementary Family
"My family and I have loved making a habit of checking in on the gardens at his elementary school, Emmeline Cook. Over the summer, I was at a friend's house and asked if the beautiful sunflowers she had on display came from the Growing Oshkosh gardens, and she said yes! It reminded me that I should head over there and see what was ripe for picking. We took home some broccoli that was bursting with flavor, some tomatoes, and some basil. We then planned a whole dinner party around the bounty of basil available in those warm days of August, grilling pizza outside with lots of fresh E. Cook basil on top. It thrilled my son to go pick basil the afternoon before the party. He was so proud to be bringing us the prized, central ingredient from his own garden at school. He ate the broccoli with extra enthusiasm, partly because he picked it himself, but partly because there's really nothing like fresh broccoli! His friends go check on the gardens, too, and have their favorite items to look for. Thanks for helping these boisterous young men feel enthusiasm for something they are doing together! I think it's actually MORE meaningful for them than a garden at home because they all participate together and it's something they do as independent youngsters. We are very grateful."
-Emmeline Cook Elementary Family
"We live very close to the school, so we walk by all the time. My son showed me which flower he planted himself and loved watching it grow bigger and bigger. We talked about how things grow and I think he learned alot. We just loved the garden! Thanks to all that made it happen!!!"
-Roosevelt Elementary Family
"It just makes me feel so happy to have our kids exposed to gardens in their own school. To introduce them to the power and privilege of growing, harvesting and eating things grown for our Earth. So happy to have this in our community. Thank you."
-Read Elementary Family
"Growing Oshkosh was an amazing program for my nine year old. She loved every day and was excited to tell us what she learned. I would highly recommend this program!"
"Good morning, My daughter absolutely loved this class. She learned a ton of information and had a lot of fun. Teachers were very pleasant and fun. She wished it was longer than a week. Thank you for a great summer class."
"Our grandsons, attended the Urban Garden Camp last week. They had some hesitation as to whether they wanted to attend; however, by the second day they were completely enthralled enthusiastic, describing the camp as AWESOME and saying they cannot wait to attend next summer!! Thanks for a great new experience!!"