Has your school garden been impacted by the fires?

Dear School Garden educators and supporters,

This past week has been extremely difficult for our community as we come to realize the collective loss and changed landscape caused by the horrific fires in our county. Most students in our county lost a week of school and some are still not able to return to their normal routines due to the poor air quality. Even more dire are the schools that sustained fire damage.

We are interested to know about any and all schools that sustained significant damage in the fires, and are planning to do some fundraising to help revitalize gardens at these schools. We know that it takes a lot of donated time and money to get a garden program started at a school and fire damage could be devastating to those efforts. We want to do everything we can to make sure that existing school garden programs continue to thrive.

If your school garden sustain damage please fill out this form to inform us:


GOT MULCH? Learn how to get FREE deliveries to your school garden

MULCH! Great for defining pathways, keeping fruits trees insulated through summer highs and winter lows, mulch is a school garden essential. But did you know you could get it delivered for FREE to your school garden?

The Sonoma County Water Agency’s (Water Agency) Stream Maintenance Program travels throughout the county to conduct routine maintenance on creeks and riparian zones. This means that every day in the summer there will be crews out in the field creating tons of mulch. The Water Agency is always looking for locations adjacent to their creek work to deliver large amounts of mulch, up to 15 cubic yards at a time. If there is a creek crew near you, you may be able to line up a FREE mulch delivery!

Important information:

  • FREE mulch delivery is available to schools conveniently located close to Water Agency creek work sites and is not guaranteed for every school.
  • Mulch deliveries will be scheduled in accord with the Water Agency’s creek work schedule.
  • Trucks must be able to drive up to the mulch drop locations for a  speedy delivery.
  • Garden/school staff must be on-site to orient drivers and arrange drop.
  • Mulch is delivered in large volumes- about 15 cubic yards at a time! Partial drops will not be scheduled.
  • Mulch will be comprised of riparian species including a mix of willow, bay, oak, and more.

To inquire about scheduling a FREE mulch delivery to your school garden this summer, contact Jon Niehaus at 707-521-1845 or email him at Jon.Niehaus@scwa.ca.gov.

Don’t forget to get your Garden Based Education Grant Applications IN!!

Deadline is fast approaching!! 

Please do not hesitate submitting a grant application.

SGN is offering Garden-Based Education Grants of $5,000 each, to five schools for the 2017-2018 school year. For all the details, click here.

The grant package includes:

  • Healthy Roots nutrition education and cooking classes
  • Individualized support in garden design and program development by Project Manager
  • Participation in 2 free farm field trips
  • 5 Garden Coordinator Workshops facilitated by the SGN Program Director

 If you have any questions about eligibility, please contact Lauren at info@schoolgardens.org.

For all the details, click here.

2017-2018 Garden Based Education Grant Application Open!

The School Garden Network recognizes that one of the greatest obstacles for successful school gardens is the lack of funding for Garden Coordinators.  Without a stable leader and educator in place, school gardens are hard to maintain and it is difficult to organize and deliver garden classes. The Garden-Based Education Grant is specifically designed to address this issue by providing funds that can be used for the salary of the Garden Education Coordinator, professional development for the Coordinator and other garden team members, and curriculum materials.

SGN is offering Garden-Based Education Grants of $5,000 each, to five schools for the 2017-2018 school year.

The grant package includes:

  • Healthy Roots nutrition education and cooking classes
  • Individualized support in garden design and program development by Project Manager
  • Participation in 2 free farm field trips
  • 5 Garden Coordinator Workshops facilitated by the SGN Program Director

To learn more about the 2017-2018 Garden-Based Education Grant package and the application requirements, click here.

Join the Compost Club – Recycle Organic Waste on Your School Campus!

Dear Sonoma County Teachers (grades 3-12).

It is my pleasure to inform you of a great opportunity to teach your students how to take action to reduce climate change! Students will learn how to recycle orgaputcompost.here_-150x150nic waste on your school campus!

The North Coast Resource Conservation & Development Council can come to YOUR school in Sonoma County and offer a classroom presentation by a skilled presenter on recycling wastes to useful compost through onsite natural, biological processes using compost worms. This vermiculture system intrigues children, and motivates discussion on reducing wastes and greenhouse gas production.

Our presenters can deliver a one hour “Recycling Changes Everything” presentation to classrooms in Sonoma County this fall and many schools will receive a small classroom Rubbermaid worm bin for use in the classroom…including the worms!

The Compost Club of Healdsburg (http://compostclub.org) initiated this program in 2003 and has supported more than twenty sites (schools, wineries, retreat centers, detention facilities) who now divert their organic waste– more than 338,000 lbs. of organic waste have been diverted since the effort began. With the recent closure of Sonoma Compost, now is the time to keep waste in place instead of the alternative – hauling our waste to the East Bay each day. The Compost Club and the Council provide this environmental education outreach on “Vermiculture In the School” through grant funds and our services and materials are provided free of charge.

Schools which participate in the outreach presentations may also become eligible to receive a free onsite worm bin and training for campus-wide waste recycling in the future, as these schools will have priority for system installations when new grant funding is available.

You can contact us at ncrcandd@sonic.net or call Oona Heacock @ 707-293-8656

Waterwise School Garden MiniGrant

School Garden Network and Harmony Farm Supply are dedicated to supporting water conservation in school gardens! In a new collaboration we are pleased to announce a new mini-grant-“WATER-WISE SCHOOL GARDENS”.

Eligible SGN member schools will receive a free irrigation design, installation support and up to $400 in funding for a drip irrigation system!!  Irrigation systems will include battery operated timers, electric anti-siphon valves and a shut off valve to isolate the system.

Irrigation systems to be installed by volunteers and teen members of our SchoolGardenCorp!

In order to qualify, schools must be an SGN member school by completing the Membership Form. Once your school has completed the membership process SGN will send your school an account application for Harmony Farm Supply.

School gardens may apply for a –“WATER-WISE SCHOOL GARDENS” mini grant once these two steps are completed. School gardens will be required to provide principal and maintenance signature on the WATERWISE mini- grant application and supply a detailed map for design. Details in the application.

Download a Waterwise School Garden application here:   WATER_application

Questions?  Contact Lauren at info@schoolgardens.org

Sign up now for 2016 National Heirloom Exposition

2016 National Heirloom Exposition

September 6th 7th and 8th


Hi school gardeners!

We realize it is very hard to cast your mind ahead to September in the busyness of May but is is time to sign up for your school garden display at the National Heirloom Exposition!  There are a few changes next year. We are excited to announce that the School Garden Network has been asked to organize the displays , transportation stipends and the silent auction. Kids activities will happen all three days of the event so you can arrange for field trips on any of the days.

Also, new this year the school garden displays and some activities will be in Finley Hall.

Let us know if you would like to volunteer at the Expo next year at the SGN booth or with Kids Activities. Contact Elizabeth Westerfield –westerfielde@gmail.com to volunteer or if you have any questions.

Register to exhibit here: The National Heirloom Exposition 2016_1

Deadline for exhibitor forms is June 15th!!

Register for transportation stipend here : 2016 School Bus Transportation. Funds limited!! First come first serve.