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School Gardens

APS Garden Vision

Building a network of outdoor learning spaces (gardens, pollinator habitats, outdoor classrooms, and sensory spaces) where young people can directly experience the natural world they belong to, learn about where their food comes from, and gain hands on skills that benefit emotional and physical well-being. 

Growing the Garden Network

There are over 84 school gardens in Albuquerque right now. View them on the ABQ Schools & Community Gardens Map! Search by zone to find a school garden near you.

Put yourself on the ABQ Schools & Community Gardens Map! Click here to register your school garden. *Note that there will be a delay from the time you register to the time your garden is added to the map.

Discover garden snapshots and stories,

Download 2016 Gardening Snapshots and Stories (DOCX)

APS Garden Mission

Our mission is to link to the network, training,
& resources for school staff who want to expand outdoor learning
opportunities for our students and school communities. 

Publications

2020 APS Garden Initiative 

School Garden Newsletter:

A monthly newsletter that includes:

  • upcoming events & workshops
  • resources for school gardens & funding opportunities,
  • highlights from school gardens across the district

Sign up for the APS School Garden Newsletter or share announcements & celebrations from your school garden by emailing .

Find an archive of past APS School Garden Newsletters here. 

School Gardens Resource Binder:

An online archive of curriculum, lesson plans & instructional videos compiled by a partnership of garden and community leaders across Albuquerque. 

The School Garden Resource Binder includes: 

  • Topics related to gardening, agriculture, STEAM, art, & culture
  • Local, national and international resources searchable by tab
  • Where to get materials for gardens in Albuquerque
  • Professional Development Opportunities
  • Places to visit in ABQ and local presenters to invite to your school

Find the School Garden Resource Binder online here. 

Watering Strawberries (Growing Gardens)School Gardens Handbook:

The APS School Gardens Team handbook, Growing the Outdoor Classroom, includes information on the outdoor classroom, planning a school garden, growing basics for plants, and a school garden resource list.

School Garden Handbooks: Growing the Outdoor Classroom (PDF)

Growing Gardens Team Report:

The Growing Gardens Team created a comprehensive report. All across America schools and communities are returning to the proud tradition of growing gardens. Gardening in America is not a new phenomenon. For example, in 1943 there were 20 million “Victory Gardens” planted in America — at homes, schools, jails, and public buildings — which produced nearly a third of all vegetables produced that year. We have done it before and we are doing it again.

Why Gardening? Why Now?
Why in Schools?

Many school garden stewards are already anticipating how outdoor classrooms and gardens can support a safe re-entry plan for their school.

Outdoor Classrooms and Community Gardens were included on a list of APS Legislative Request Priorities. Principals can select three options and prioritize them based on their needs. The database for principal selection will be open this year from October 12 - October 16, 2020. Learn more here. 

NMPED recommends outdoor learning as a resource for school re-entry:

"COVID-19 has made it more relevant than ever to bring learning outdoors during school reentry to help lower stress while engaging students in a setting that reduces the risk of transmission. The most effective outdoor learning is student-centered, culturally relevant and responsive, multidisciplinary, and supports physical, emotional, social, and spiritual health and wellbeing. This guidance document provides administrators, teachers, educators, and families with practical tools, resources, and practices to safely conduct learning outdoors."

McKinley MS Fall GardenThe Outdoor Classroom

Gardens are also the ideal outdoor classroom. As an outdoor classroom, they allow a place to implement effective teaching strategies such as hands-on and experiential learning.

They also provide a place to teach and learn a wide range of academic subjects including literacy, math, botany, biology, environmental science, English and creative writing, history, and health and nutrition. 

In addition to academic subjects, gardens are an ideal place to teach important social and life skills including:

  • Cooperation, teamwork, sharing
  • Caring for something other than self, nurturing
  • Goal setting
  • Safety
  • Managing disappointment, frustration
  • Enjoying the success, with community

Gardens can also be used by school social workers, counselors, occupational therapists, behavior redirectors and others to reinforce the important social development milestones of childhood.

Get Involved. Support School Gardens.

  • Offer your expertise and experience (with things like planning and design, organizing and fundraising, digging, planting, landscaping, building projects or cooking)
  • Raise funds by selling seeds and/or plants grown by students instead of unhealthy foods
  • Beautify the campus with plants, flowers, and trees
  • Donate needed plants, seeds or tools

Contact the School Garden Specialist at schoolgardens@aps.edu.