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
CAROLINA FENCE GARDEN
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
SCHOOLYARD HABITAT GARDEN
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 www.rareseeds.com or www.underwoodgardens.com
NATIVE PLANT GARDEN
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.
A new website – PlantCatching.com 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)
- America the Beautiful Free Seeds: offers grants of free seeds for community planting projects.
- Banish Bugs
- Benefits of Gardening Affect All Areas of Learning a poster from Welch’s and Scholastic
- Enature.com has a Native Plant List by zip code. Your e-mail address is required.
- Gardens for Learning, a book from the California School Garden Network
- Healthy Sprouts Awards from the National Gardening Association
- Hooked on Hydroponics Awards from the National Gardening Association
- How Does Your Garden Grow? a poster from Scholastic and Welch’s
- Invasive Plant Pest Species of South Carolina from the Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council
- Magic School Bus Goes to Seed from Scholastic
- Name That Plant: information about native and naturalized plants of the Carolinas and Georgia
- National Wildlife Federation, Garden in an Environmentally Friendly Way
- Organic strawberry plants: Cottle Strawberry Nursery offers tips, plugs, bare-root plants all certified organic. Varieties available include Chandler, Camarosa, Sweet Charlie. Contact Ron Cottle, 910-267-4531.
- Need Seeds– for a non-profit, school or community based gardening project?
- Plant Hardiness Zone Map brought to you by the USDA. NEW in 2012!
- PollinatorLIVE brought to you by the U.S. Forest Service and a bevy of other partners
- Preferred Plant List
- Prohibited Plant List.
- School Gardens by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in collaboration with other agencies.
- School Gardens from the CalRecycle’s Office of Education and the Environment in collaboration with the California Environmental Protection Agency
- Schoolyard Habitat Program from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service – NEW IN 2011! Download a simple guide to take you and your students through each step of planning, installing and sustaining the best project for your site.
- Schoolyard Habitats from the National Wildlife Federation
- South Carolina Department of Agriculture
- THE PEOPLE’S GARDEN brought to you by the U.S. Department of Agriculture
- Youth Garden Grants from the National Gardening Association and Home Depot Garden Club
- “4th Grade Foresters“
- Water Conservation Ideas for Habitat Garden