Restore: Habitat/Gardens

Liberty MS Container Garden


School gardens function best through a partnership of teachers, students, parents, staff and community volunteers working together with clearly defined roles.

Options for School Habitats/Gardens

Start a habitat /history garden at your school by placing the following state symbols around a split rail fence:

  • State flower: yellow jessamine
  • State bird (house): Carolina wren
  • State rock: blue granite
  • Native wildflowers to attract the state butterfly: Tiger Swallowtail
  • State grass: Indian grass /sorghastrum nutans
    • Plugs of Indian Grass planted from late September through early October should put on considerable growth for the coming year. The grass will form attractive flowers each year from late August through October.  Indian Grass needs well-drained soil and at least half days of full sun.

Click here for more information on Carolina Fence Gardens

The Schoolyard Habitats® Program was formally created in 1995 by the National Wildlife Federation as an extension of the Backyard Wildlife Habitat Program to focus specifically on assisting schools, teachers, students and community members in the use of school grounds as learning sites for wildlife conservation and cross-curricular learning. Visit the South Carolina Wildlife Federation website to learn more.

Study and plant old fashioned regional garden plants. These vegetables are bred for flavor, not for shipping. Advocates believe that preserving heirloom plants protects bio-diversity which is needed in the fight against poverty, to achieve food security and protect the environment. To order a catalog of heirloom seeds, visit or


Any type of garden where no chemicals are used.

American schools are catching on to rain gardens – landscaped areas planted with native vegetation to soak up rain water, mainly from the school roof. The rain garden fills with a few inches of water after a storm and the water slowly filters into the ground rather than running off to a storm drain.  Compared to a conventional lawn, a rain garden allows about 30% more water to soak into the ground.

Gardening Resources

A new website – is trying to connect people who have garden materials they don’t need or want with other people who need and want said garden materials. Whether you’ve got seeds, bulbs, compost, plants, or produce, PlantCatching.comis the resource for finding and giving it all away. The site is new, so you may not see a ton of offerings yet, but if you have something to give, LIST IT. It’s an easy neighbor-to-neighbor way to put nature to work. (October 2012)