Outdoor Garden Classroom Program
Our Outdoor Garden Classroom Includes
Green Our Planet funds and installs raised garden beds made from bricks. Our gardens come complete with soil, seeds, trees and automatic drip irrigation. These gardens are approved by the Clark County School District. You can see many of our gardens here. To see one under construction, click here.
Garden Maintenance and Farmer Classes
In the Mojave Desert, school gardens fare best when maintained professionally with weekly visits by a farmer. While in the garden, the farmer teaches a weekly workshop about garden topics for the school’s students. After the first year, the school has the option of continuing with the farmer or maintaining the garden on their own.
Pre-K Through 5th Grade Garden SteAm Curriculum
Green Our Planet’s Pre-K through fifth-grade STEAM garden curriculum, which follows Next Generation Science Standards and Nevada State Standards, allows teachers to teach STEAM subjects directly in the school garden instead of in the classroom. Released in the Fall of 2014, it is now in its second edition. You can see the curriculum here.
Special Needs Curriculum
Green Our Planet schools also have access to Desert Oasis High School’s vocational garden curriculum for special need students at middle and high schools. The curriculum helps special needs students develop vocational garden skills, which can then help them find jobs in horticulture and landscaping.
A Green Our Planet School Garden Coordinator
The most sustainable school garden programs are those that are run by garden teams composed of a teacher from each grade level. Green Our Planet helps form these teams and aids the team in developing a vision for the garden program. Green Our Planet then assigns a school garden coordinator to attend the monthly Garden Team meetings in order to help schools achieve their vision for the their garden program. Green Our Planet coordinators are college-educated and bring a wide variety of skills to the schools, including architectural design, hydroponics, graphic arts, horticulture, and health sciences.
Green Our Planet helped pioneer the first student-run farmers markets in Las Vegas with Kathleen Coveney, a teacher at John S. Park Elementary School, in the Fall of 2013. Since then, more than 60 Las Vegas schools have organized farmers markets. Green Our Planet, in conjunction with CCSD teachers, also created the Farmpreneur Program, which teaches fifth graders (via their STEAM curriculum) how to create a business out of their school gardens. Follow this link to see a 5th grade farmers market.
Expansion of Gardens Into Outdoor Garden Classrooms
Green Our Planet helps schools expand their initial garden into an Outdoor Garden Classroom, complete with student seating and a white board, to make it as easy as possible for teachers to conduct classes outside. Follow these links to take a tour of an Outdoor Garden Classroom or to see one under construction.
Chef to School Program
Within the last two years, Green Our Planet has created the largest Chef to School Program in the United States, taking advantage Las Vegas’s abundant restaurants. In this program, more than 60 professional chefs donate their time by giving demonstrations at schools and showing students how to cook healthy and nutritious meals from produce grown in a school garden. Follow this link to see chef demos in action.
Green Our Planet and the nonprofit organization Los Vaqueros partnered together in 2016 to launch the first, city-wide Hydroponics/Salad Bar Program in Las Vegas. Los Vaqueros creates portable, free-standing hydroponics units and installs them; Green Our Planet teaches schools how to maintain them and how to use the produce to create supplemental salad bars for school cafeterias, creating the first farm-to-school-cafeteria vegetable production systems in Clark County School District.
Monarch Butterfly Way Stations/Pollinator Gardens
In partnership with the Southern Nevada Milkweed Project, Green Our Planet launched a Monarch Butterfly Way Station/Pollinator Garden Program in 2016. Because monarch butterfly populations have declined precipitously in the last 20 years across America, scientists have discovered that by planting their food—native milkweed—their numbers increase. To help save the butterflies, Green Our Planet offers schools pollinator gardens planted with native milkweed and other plants that attract beneficial pollinators.
Garden Sustainability Program
It is important that a garden program not only have a suitable curriculum, but also that it be financially sustainable. Green Our Planet therefore works with the school to devise a system where via Farmers Markets, Harvest Parties, and/or grants to make sure their program becomes sustainable. Watch some video of a harvest party.
Assistance in Connecting Title I Schools to Long-term Corporate Sponsors
A Title I school is a school where 40% or more of the students receive free or reduced price lunches, an indicator of the neighborhood’s economic level. To help create a level playing field for these schools, Green Our Planet assists Title I schools find a long-term corporate sponsor to help fund their school garden program.