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  • Monday, August 5, 2013 | Filed under Sustainability and Funding , School Garden Installation , Educators , School Garden Design , Community , Instructional Aids


    We often hear from folks all over the country looking for suggestions on how to start or improve a school garden on their campus.  Although there are many excellent resources available, we often suggest they find the book How to Grow a School Garden: A Complete Guide for Parents and Teachers by Arden Bucklin-Sporer and Rachel Pringle.  The book is a concise and simple-to-follow synthesis of their many years of experience designing, installing, and maintaining green schoolyards across the San Francisco Unified School District.

    In it, you’ll find chapters on Laying the Groundwork, Groundbreaking, Budgeting, and Fundraising, ...

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  • Tuesday, May 21, 2013 | Filed under Engineering , Environmental Stewardship , School Garden Installation , Community


    They are smiling because the water conserving drip system has been engineered and installed at Burton Hill Elementary School in Fort Worth, TX on Friday, May 10 with the most expert guidance and assistance from them; and they are Debbie Key and Bill Vandever, Tarrant County Master Gardeners extraordinaire. They’re happy that 200 + folks from the community at large, specifically volunteers from Mercedes Benz Corporation, parents, teachers and students have completed another REAL School Garden for instructing and facilitating knowledge through nature in context with the real world.

    People like these folks (Debbie and Bill) volunteer their time ...

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  • Friday, May 10, 2013 | Filed under School Garden Installation , Community , Family Activities , REAL Supporters

    Sarah Geer is Director of Foundation and Individual Relations, REAL School Gardens

    On April 27, more than 100 FedEx volunteers completed a very special same-day delivery: they created a sustainable learning garden in the span of one day.

    For the 612 students at Dr. Barbara Jordan Elementary in Dallas, this garden will help them connect with their lessons – and the environment – in a new and meaningful way. FedEx volunteers applied their expertise in efficiency to make quick work of numerous projects, including: tilling the ground, depositing wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of soil in garden beds, erecting a grape arbor, ...

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  • Tuesday, January 15, 2013 | Filed under Volunteering , Student Behavior , School Garden Installation , Educators , Community

    Saturday was my first “Big Dig” with REAL School Gardens.  Those are the days where we join our partners to create a learning garden at a low income school.  It was cold.  It was rainy. It was muddy.  And I loved it.


    As the new marketing and communications director, I was there to get a sense of how these community-powered events work.  I was also getting some fresh photos for the website.  To get these pictures, I asked one of our educators, Eric Vanderbeck (a.k.a. Mr. V), to do some of his hands-on lessons with 12 kids whose ...

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  • Tuesday, October 2, 2012 | Filed under Volunteering , School Garden Installation , School Garden Design , Community , REAL Supporters

    A recent assessment of student performance over the first six years of our program (2003-2009) showed that schools with a REAL School Garden had average passing rates on the Science TAKS test that were more than 5% higher than those without a learning garden.  The assessment was conducted by Professor Dale Boisso at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

    Before a school gets to benefit from their learning garden a lot has to happen!  For example, at William Cabell Elementary in Dallas, with generous donations from United Way and Bank of America, we are preparing their large courtyard for their ...

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  • Friday, August 31, 2012 | Filed under Volunteering , School Garden Installation , School Garden Design , Community , REAL Supporters

    Texas’ long, hot summer is almost over, and with it so is the waiting process for the children and teachers at Dallas ISD’s William L. Cabell Elementary School.  The Cabell Elementary community received the good news in May that they had been accepted into partnership with REAL School Gardens and would likely receive their own learning garden the following school year.  Then, the wait began, as the RSG team worked hard to find the right partners to help bring the learning garden to life.  Thanks to the generosity of Bank of America and United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, Cabell’s ...

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  • Thursday, April 5, 2012 | Filed under School Garden Installation , School Garden Design , Community , Smart Potatoes

    Each time we approach building a new school garden, one of the first things you will notice is that we need a village to build a great learning garden. We have lots of support from our community to help make a school garden possible and who are critical to our mission of growing successful students in our learning gardens. One of our great community partners is The Brickman Group, a leader in the commercial landscape industry with over 160 branches serving 29 states. A great crew from Brickman, led by Todd Hopkins, recently donated two days of their time ...

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  • Tuesday, April 3, 2012 | Filed under Environmental Stewardship , School Garden Installation , School Garden Design , Science

    REAL School Gardens wishes to recognize Texas Agrilife Extension Services as one of our partners in educating the public regarding Texas water resources. Texas Agrilife has partnered with us in bringing techniques for water conservation to the public schools in which we build learning gardens for inquiry-driven, sensory-based learning.

     With the increased population in Texas, the demand for water has soared and we need to be reminded to respect the available water captured underground and in lakes and utilize it in a practical and useful way.


     A special thank you goes to Dotty Woodson and Jeff Raska of Texas ...

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  • Wednesday, February 8, 2012 | Filed under School Garden Installation , Community

    We planted a new school garden at East Handley Elementary this past Saturday! Over 200 people came out to help this school community build a garden in a day. Thanks to the generous leadership grant from Chesapeake Energy, the East Handley school community can now enjoy their new outdoor classroom!

    Because going fast is fun, scroll down to watch their learning garden grow in fast forward!


     School Garden Site

    The East Handley school garden site was a bare patch of lawn, which bloomed into a full-blown outdoor classroom.


    community design board

     The students contributed some fantastic garden designs, learning about area and ...

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  • Wednesday, January 18, 2012 | Filed under Volunteering , Environmental Stewardship , School Garden Installation , Educators , Community , Family Activities , REAL Supporters




    On behalf of the REAL School Gardens' team, we wish to thank all of our volunteers for helping us create learning gardens that raise hope, spark imaginations and connect children to nature.

    Volunteers keep our gardens - and the children who learn in them - growing!

    REAL School Gardens is proud to work with a diverse volunteer pool and many dedicated partners, including educators, parents, area business partners and community groups. We are also grateful to our elementary school partners for helping us reach out to their communities. Please consider continuing to share your time and talents ...

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