The most important step in creating a school garden is to meet with the principal and secure his/her buy-in and support. The principal can help direct you to organizations as well as potential teachers and parents who may be interested in the project.
Once the principal has approved of the idea, contact the school district’s facilities department and inform the manager of the intended plan. Seek any assistance and resources available from the facilities department and be sure to gather all requirements and/or district regulations that must be met. Specify that the garden’s upkeep is not the responsibility of the facilities department and will not entail any additional labor on their part.
No one person has the time to coordinate and care for a school garden program, and once created, a school garden needs to be seen as a year-round commitment. Coordination of a program includes initial garden development, raising funds to support the garden, and recruiting volunteers.
Anyone interested can be a volunteer. Ideally volunteers include:
- Principal and/or assistant principal
- School staff (e.g., school nurse, coaches, administrators)
- Community members
- Master gardeners
Once the committee is set, plan a committee meeting to determine the size and scope of the garden as well as any particular requirements or logistical needs of the school district. Make sure that everyone knows their role and what is expected of them. Recruit volunteers into an ongoing garden committee to take on advisory role with teachers and the school administration.