SCHOOL GARDEN SUPPORT PROGRAM

OVERVIEW

The School Garden Support Program works with educators across DC to build strong, sustainable school garden programs. Our program empowers teachers to connect students to garden-based education through field trips in Washington Youth Garden, virtual classroom support, and professional development opportunities for DC educators.

Our vision is for school gardens and healthy, local food to be a fundamental part of each school, led by the school community, and integrated into a school’s culture and learning environment.

Sign up for our School Garden Gateway newsletter to receive seasonal school garden resources

Sign up to receive School Garden Gateway

Get resources and event info from FONA's Washington Youth Garden education programs in your inbox.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Friends of the National Arboretum, 3501 New York Avenue, NE, Washington, DC, 20002, https://www.fona.org. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

FIELD TRIPS

Our Science Program Reaching OUT (SPROUT) field trips take place in Washington Youth Garden, our one-acre demonstration garden on the grounds of the U.S. National Arboretum.

Field trips are 90 minutes long and explore a specific garden theme in an exciting and interactive way. Teachers can dig in further before and after trips with optional lesson plans to prepare students for their visit to WYG and reinforce what they learned during their trip.

 “Many students commented on how scared they were of insects and worms before the trip, and now they see the value of having them in the garden. The “ick” factor of the unknown is lessened or gone.”
—Teacher

VIRTUAL CLASSROOM SUPPORT

Grow@Home Kits

These kits include an activity guide that allows students to practice the scientific method, run their own experiments, and create nutritious meals from what they grow. Request kits for your classroom.

Setting Up Your Kit

Watering Your Plants

How the Kits are Made

Virtual Farm Field Trips

Join farms and gardens across DC to get inspired, learn something new, and get ideas to explore your own garden or neighborhood!

Washington Youth Garden — Garden Tour
Farmer Jake introduces all the spaces in the Washington Youth Garden demonstration garden.

Washington Youth Garden — Starting Seeds
Farmer Emilia gives a tour of our greenhouse at the U.S. National Arboretum.

Washington Youth Garden — Sensory Garden
Follow Farmer Emilia around the WYG sensory garden and explore your senses in our garden and at your home.

Washington Youth Garden — Plant Part Salad
Ms. Allie identifies the 6 essential parts of a plant and uses them to make a salad.

City Blossoms — Super Plants 
Ms. Lauren introduces you to the Marion Street Neighborhood Garden while you explore how the parts of a plant help the plant grow.

City Blossoms — Plant ID
Ms. Lauren teachers young gardeners how to identify local families of plants and play a game of “Does it grow here?”

City Blossoms — Herb ID
Ms. Kendra explains how to smell and safely pick garden herbs, before introducing favorite garden herbs.

City Blossoms — Ecosystem Exploration
Explore Marion St. Garden’s ecosystem with Ms. Lauren! Learn about decomposers, producers, and consumers.

Common Good City Farm — Farm Tour
Emily shares about Common Good City Farm and introduces you to the space.

Common Good City Farm — Pollination
Learn about pollination, and what the role of different bees are in the beehive.

Common Good City Farm — Farm Tools
Farmer Bodhi explains commonly used farm tools and how we use them to get our work done.

Common Good City Farm — Orchard Tour
Walk through the orchard and learn about the persimmon, fig, peach, cherry, apple, pear and paw paw trees that grow at Common Good.

Common Good City Farm — Compost
Nate gives a tour of a compost bin system.

Washington Youth Garden Ehren Garlic Planting Party

Digital Resources

Online garden science and outdoor learning resources for all ages from FONA and other organizations, as well as garden resources to help you start or improve your garden.

FROM FONA

PRE KINDERGARTEN

MY 5 SENSES
A lesson that focuses on using hands-on experiences to introduce the 5 senses.

KINDERGARTEN – 2ND GRADE

PARTS OF A PLANT ACTIVITY
An activity guide to pair with our Parts of a Plant Farm Field Trip video.

POPCORN & SEED SORTING
Use the seed sorting chart to sort through any seeds you have in your house (like that 7 bean soup mix). Then taste test seeds by making homemade popcorn.

COOKING WORKSHOP ACTIVITY GUIDE
Check out a couple of recipes and activities from our Cooking Workshop Curriculum, including veggie stir fry and quick pickles.

FROM OTHER ORGANIZATIONS

COOKING

FOODPRINTS ANYWHERE
FoodPrints activities that build nutrition knowledge, extend science and math education, and help families cook and eat healthy recipes at home.

SLOW FOOD LIVE
A variety of sessions live and recorded to watch and learn at home, including Food & Cooking, Gardening & Animals, Health & Wellness, and Change-Making.

YMCA DC FOOD VIRTUAL KITCHEN
Geared toward adults, watch short videos to learn chef skills and delicious recipes.

FOODCORPS REMOTE LEARNING LESSONS
35 hands-on lessons to do with kids 5-11 years old.

GARDENING

BACK POCKET LEARNING
Easy to do activities that every garden educator or parent should have in their “Back Pocket”. Curated by lifelab.org.

KIDSGARDENING.ORG
10 go-to gardening activities with kids.

CHICAGO BOTANIC GARDEN
Simple radish experiments to explore at home and learn about experimentation.

CITY BLOSSOMS
Compiled list of nature-based activities and healthy cooking, adapted for at home use.

OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES

THE ECOLOGY SCHOOL
Nature Nuggets: short snippets to build nature connection near home.

JOURNEY NORTH
Great activities to follow the migration of animal species that pass through your neighborhood.

GREEN SCHOOLYARDS
Great outdoor art, math and exploration activities.  Updated in March and April with regular highlights from their curriculum.

OXBOW FARM & CONSERVATION CENTER
We especially love the build a worm bin at home and the nature journaling prompts activity guide!

TINKERGARTEN
Seasonal outdoor activities for all ages.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Washington Youth Garden Summer Intensive Allie

Summer Institute for Garden-based Teaching (SIGbT)

The Summer Institute for Garden-based Teaching is a five-day long professional development course. This training inspires and connects teachers and school staff to more fully integrate their school garden into their daily educational activities. 

Educator Coaching Program (ECP)

The Educator Coaching Program supports schools by building the connection between health and learning through interdisciplinary garden-based education. Our vision is for school gardens and healthy, local food to be a fundamental part of each school, led by the school community, and integrated into their school’s culture and learning environment.

“Thank you for giving me the confidence to take on our school garden!  We’ve been using it weekly with our kindergarteners.”
— Teacher at Turner Elementary School

Menu
X