School gardens have been popping up all over Dubuque, providing students with access to outdoor learning and gardening experiences. Research shows that kids who participate in gardening, score higher on tests and have an increased appreciation for the natural world and environment. **
Many of the Community Gardens in Dubuque have leaders that would like to get more involved with schools and student groups. To create connections between existing urban food production and nearby schools requires some planning, but the garden infrastructure is already established. If you would like to partner with a community garden contact a community garden leader.
“It is not the goal of teaching to produce results, but to create an experience in which the student can arrive at creative encounters, be drawn out, and make meaning.” -McKernan
If you would like to start a garden at your school check out some of the following resources.
School Garden 101: Build a school garden team and learn how to plan, implement, and sustain a school garden through this 5 week spring training course provided by Dubuque County Extension.
Green Vision Schools: The Green Vision Education Program recognizes schools that practice pollution prevention, recycling, energy efficiency and waste reduction. Green Vision Schools receive a Green Vision Education flag to hang outside and a banner to display inside the building.
Farm-to-School: Iowa’s Farm to School mission is to encourage and promote the purchase of locally produced food in our schools, strengthen the farm economy and offer educational opportunities to improve child nutrition and health.
According to existing farm-to-school programs, fresh fruits and vegetables rank among student’s favorite meal options.
When combined with nutrition education, farm visits and school gardens, children can develop healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime.
- In doing so, they can decrease the risk of nutrition related diseases such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease
**Research claim cited here:
(Klemmer, C.D., Waliczek, T.M. & Zajicek, J.M. (2005). Growing Minds: The Effect of a School Gardening Program on the Science Achievement of Elementary Students. HortTechnology. 15(3): 448-452.)
(Waliczek, T.M., Zajicek, J.M. (1999). School Gardening: Improving Environmental Attitudes of Children Through Hands-On Learning. Journal of Environmental Horticulture. 17(4): 180-184.)