Garden-Based Education Back »

Above: Estelline children discuss harvesting in the garden.
Photo by: Kari O’Neill, SDSU Extension

Written by Chris Zdorovtsov (Former SDSU Extension Community Development Field Specialist).


SDSU Extension is pleased to offer guidance on establishing youth & school gardens projects in your community. We offer project coaching, curriculum assistance, access to our ‘Seed Bank Grant’ and the ‘CFEL Children’s Garden Grant,’ the ‘Youth in the Garden’ Webinar series, and other educational trainings.

Ages & Stages in the Garden

A key for planning is to identify the age group that you will be working with. Focus on the characteristics of that age group and establish age and developmentally-appropriate goals for the activity. 

South Dakota Garden-Based Education Curriculum Team

SDSU Extension and a team of teachers/former teachers across the state are working on developing a collection of reviewed garden-based lessons and curricula for your access on the iGrow SD Local Foods website. The team has determined three phases of work. Phase 1 and 2 are currently being implemented. Phase 1 includes identifying and featuring existing curriculum to provide a useful list of lessons, matched to SD Content standards. Phase 2 includes development of a uniform template for newly developed South Dakota garden lessons. Phase 3 will provide opportunities for creative teachers and educators to submit their own lessons for publishing on the site.

Garden Educator Trainings

Garden Educator Workshop

During the summer SDSU Extension hosts youth and school garden workshops for teachers, afterschool and summer programs and for those interested in teaching children through a garden. This program provides information for those who are interested in establishing and enhancing a school or youth garden program in their community. Garden-based learning provides a great opportunity to enhance science, mathematics and other core subject areas. It provides a platform for nutrition education and encourages increased fruit and vegetable consumption. Request information on this training.

Youth in the Garden Webinars

Interested in using a garden as a teaching tool with children? SDSU Extension is offering a series of Webinars for those working with educational teaching gardens. Garden educators for schools and out-of-school time programs are all encouraged to participate. Visit iGrow Events and click the link within the event posting. Participants are encouraged to log in within 15 minutes of the specified time.

Youth Gardening Podcasts

Interested in gardening and garden-based learning podcasts? Check out our SDSU iGrow YouTube site! The iGrow Youth Gardening Collection is full of information that will answer your questions. Seeking horticulture information? View the iGrow Gardens Collection.

SDSU Extension Garden-Based Education Newsletter

SDSU Extension provides regular updates for garden educators though their Garden-Based Education Newsletter.  This newsletter features lesson ideas linked to core subject areas, garden stories featuring projects across the state of South Dakota, horticultural information, links to educational videos, links to current grant opportunities, and a Pick it! Try It! Like It! feature- a produce item from the garden with recipe, preparation video and supporting lesson plans.

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