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School Gardens

APS Garden Vision

Albuquerque schools have vibrant gardens/outdoor classrooms where children are learning through experience about the wonders of the natural world and the cultivation of food.

Garden Snapshots and Stories

There are over 84 school gardens in Albuquerque right now. We live in a place that gets scarce rainwater and has soil that contains less than 1% organic matter.

In an effort to paint a picture what is happening in our gardens, we asked school garden folks to send the story of their garden along with some pictures to share what wonderful things are growing and inspire us all to keep on planting, educating, and learning. 

Download Gardening Snapshots and Stories (DOCX)

APS Garden Mission

To provide networking, training, and resources to school staff who want to garden with students.


School Garden Newsletter:

A monthly newsletter that includes a planting guide, upcoming events, grant opportunities, shout-outs, and a Community Spotlight.

School Gardens Newsletter: February 2019 (PDF)

Watering Strawberries (Growing Gardens)School Gardens Handbook:

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

Growing Gardens Team Report (PDF)

Why Gardening? Why Now?
Why in Schools?

A garden is more than just planting seeds and growing food. According to the National Gardening Association, across America school gardens are being used “as a vehicle for encouraging children to make good food choices, augmenting classroom studies with experiential learning, building a love of nature, stimulating social interaction, facilitating cultural exchange, and more.”

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 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 Wellness office for more information.