Gardener-in-Residence Program

Let’s grow your school garden together

Let’s work together to grow your school garden both as a food source and as a teaching resource for your school community. Through our Gardener-in-Residence (GiR) Program, Rooted can provide schools with planning, development, and staffing for existing school gardens.

We currently host GiR instructors at Elvehjem Elementary School, Crestwood Elementary School, Lapham Elementary School, and Bayview Foundation. Learn more to see if a Gardener-in-Residence program is right for your school!

Gardener-in-Residence FAQs

One of our experienced garden educators will work in your garden, with your students and teachers, as the gardener-in-residence (GiR) instructor. The GiR will lead weekly outdoor gardening sessions and support school staff to use the garden as a dynamic outdoor learning environment.

In each gardening session, the GiR will engage students in lessons around growing and harvesting food, based on teachers’ curricular needs and the time of year.

The GiR will coordinate with teachers, volunteers, and the Parent/Teacher Organization (if applicable) to ensure broad and consistent student access to the garden and to help organize spring and fall school garden workdays as needed.

Your school’s gardener-in-residence will manage the garden from April through October to ensure that it is well managed and productive throughout the growing season.

Rooted will provide the following garden supplies: seeds and seedlings, potting soil, compost, wood chips, and mulch.

Each school’s needs vary. Services and fees may vary based on the specific plan created for your school. Contact Kim for an estimate.

Funding youth garden programs can require some creativity. We can talk through options with you. Some possibilities include:

  • grants
  • PTG allocation
  • school fundraiser
  • partnering with your after-school program
  • community partners and/or businesses who want to support healthy food initiatives in schools

In addition to our Gardener-in Residence-Program, we provide unique models of youth garden education at two additional locations.

Grow Academy

In 2014, the Division of Juvenile Corrections opened the Grow Academy, a residential program offering comprehensive treatment for county- and state-supervised youth. The Grow Academy serves as an alternative to incarceration as well as a step down program for youth returning to the community. The Grow Academy offers an array of evidence-based services, including an agricultural-based educational curriculum. You can learn more about the Grow Academy here.

A Rooted staff member (formerly Community GroundWorks) has served as the gardener-in-residence at the Grow Academy since 2011. In addition to planning and managing an on-site educational garden, we work with youth to develop connections to land and food. Rooted staff engage Grow Academy residents in cooking activities, culinary skills development, building projects, and field trips to food- and agriculture-related businesses.

Kennedy Elementary

Kennedy Elementary School sits adjacent to the Goodman Youth Farm. All K-5 students at Kennedy Elementary School participate in both a spring and fall field trip to the Youth Farm. Through this ongoing relationship that allows students consistent access to garden education over the past six years, children develop a relationship with the land at the Goodman Youth Farm. They participate in every aspect of garden management and have the opportunity to expand their palettes with fresh vegetables and snacks prepared straight from the garden. Students graduate from Kennedy Elementary School with a deeper connection to food, the natural world, and local food systems.