Learn More About Maine School Gardens
In order to help you learn more about Maine school gardens, we offer our Garden Directory, inspiring profiles in our School Gardens of the Month articles as well as the results of our Network Survey.
The Garden Directory is organized by county and provides answers to questions such as:
- When did the garden project start?
- What type of facility hosts the garden?
- What does the garden project include?
- Who volunteers in the garden?
- How is the garden project funded?
- What community connections does the garden have?
- Who tends the garden when school’s out?
- What are the future goals of the school garden?
- What is the most significant need for the school garden?
If your school has a garden and it is not listed in our Garden Directory, we invite you to join us by submitting this directory listing form.
School Garden of the Month
The School Garden of the Month profiles are designed to educate and inspire you. We share stories of how school gardens got started, where the funding came from as well as highlight current projects and dreams for the future. We have included profiles from the past as well as those recently shared in our newsletter.
We profile school gardens on a monthly basis in our newsletter and are always looking for new school gardens to profile. If your school is interested in being a School Garden of the Month, please contact us at email@example.com.
We surveyed the school gardens in our Garden Directory in 2019 to obtain a snapshot of the current status of school gardens, how well our resources and services were assisting school gardens as well as feedback on how we could improve.
Our 2019 Network Survey offers:
- Profile of the network
- School and Community Support and Engagement
- Needs, Challenges, and Goals
- Impact & Opportunities: the Role of MSGN
This survey not only provided feedback for ways to improve our services, it also provides information for school gardens to utilize in making comparisons of where their programs are in comparison with other school gardens in Maine.
Questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
We asked the experts, “What is the most important thing students learn by participating in their school garden project?”
To love the earth. How can we ask them to be caretakers of our world if they don’t fall in love with it first?
– Kate Smith, Central School, South Berwick
Assessment can tell us some things, but what a child gets from being in a garden is not necessarily quantifiable, because it has as much to do with spirit and connection to nature and the miracle of life as it does with learning how, where, when and what to plant. I think the most important thing students learn in the garden/orchard is what enters the subconscious. Hence the expression “More things grow in a garden than the gardener sows.
– John Pincince, teacher, Islesboro Central School
In the garden, students learn the satisfaction of seeing with their own eyes, doing with their own hands, and creating something beautiful through their own hard work.
– David Wessels, Garden Coordinator, THMS Garden Project, Belfast, ME
More farm owners, more entrepreneurs, and more chefs; the reemergence of local food systems is critically reliant on informed consumers, innovative business people, and skillful agriculturalists – all impossible without an education system to support their development.
– Ryan Martin, Garden Teacher, Islesboro Central School
The school garden makes students happier, healthier and smarter.
– Jon Thurston, Ag Sciences teacher, Troy Howard Middle School, Belfast
A sense of empowerment. When students engage with their heads and hands in a garden they learn to ask questions about where their food comes from, they try new things, and they are eager to share what they have learned. The ripple effects are endless!
– Margaret Coleman, Agriculture Coordinator, Great Salt Bay Community School, Damariscotta
I’ve seen firsthand the joy, enthusiasm, curiosity, cooperation and real involvement by kids when they’re outside working in the gardens and doing hands-on garden related lessons in the classroom. It makes all of the hard work of having and sustaining a school garden well worth the effort!
– Pam Lanz, Garden Volunteer, Manchester Elementary School, Windham
The garden creates the feeling that neighbors and school are one. It is also wonderful to see the children working together in the garden. Some of our children with challenges excel in the garden. To quote one kindergartner: ‘gardening is better than recess.
– Guyla Woodbrey, teacher, Saccarappa Elementary School, Westbrook