The Garden School Foundation (GSF) is a 501(c)(3) dedicated to providing an interdisciplinary program of education through garden-based learning in living classrooms at schools in low-income neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles. These outdoor classrooms provide students opportunities to benefit from hands-on exposure to nature and the growing of food.

Since 2005, GSF has designed, built, and maintained teaching gardens (3/4 acre kitchen garden/vegetable farm, central courtyard reading garden, and 1/2 acre California native woodland) on the campus of the 24th Street Elementary School in the West Adams district of Los Angeles.  These gardens serve as outdoor classrooms used to enhance required curriculum. By documenting the process of developing these sustainable gardens and by setting an example, the Garden School Foundation will encourage other schools to do the same.  It is our intent that the Garden School Foundation become an umbrella organization for other school gardens.  Our ultimate goal is to convince school districts to incorporate green spaces and teaching gardens, including kitchen classrooms, into all campuses.  It has been proven that exposure to gardens enriches adolescent development.  Children are more attentive, motivated, engaged, and healthier when they grow their own plants, understand where food comes from, and eat what they harvest.

In line with our mission to help establish teaching gardens in low-income neighborhood schools, this summer we designed and assisted in the building of Crenshaw High School’s 2-acre garden.  We plan on continuing to consult on this project as it enters the program development and implementation phase.

Website: http://gardenschoolfoundation.org

Blogger/Administrator Contacts –

Julia Cotts, Executive Director, Garden School Foundation –julia@gardenschoolfoundation.org

Megan Wall, Program Coordinator

Cassie Martinez, Garden Manager

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