“The single greatest lesson the garden teaches is that our relationship to the planet need not be zero-sum, and that as long as the sun still shines and people still can plan and plant, think and do, we can, if we bother to try, find ways to provide for ourselves without diminishing the world.”
― Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
The Pasadena Educational Foundation works with community partners to grow Pasadena Unified School District’s school garden program. Gardens bring families, school staff, and the community together to cultivate a healthy environment for the well-being of children. Teachers across the district are trained in Farm-to-School curriculum, leading students through lessons in seeds and germination, soils, insects, gardening, harvesting, and nutrition. These coordinated resources and services directly benefit children’s learning and success.
PUSD’s gardens are managed by a full-time Master Gardener. Produce grown in the organic school-community gardens is incorporated into school cafeteria offerings. USDA named PUSD a model program for management, innovation, and impact in promoting healthier lifestyles.
Community volunteers are needed to help maintain these classroom gardens.
Want to help? Learn more.
Pasadena High School
The half-acre garden at Pasadena High School is the newest garden, opening in Fall 2017, and is maintained by the students. The garden serves as an outdoor classroom for more than 1,800 PHS students and includes vegetables, herbs, and fruit grown from seeds and seedlings and is surrounded by a fruit orchard. Curriculum leads students through lessons in seeds and germination, soils, insects, gardening, harvesting, and nutrition.
The Madison garden serves as an outdoor classroom for more than 430 Madison Elementary students and enrich science learning while promoting healthy nutrition and physical activity. Madison Elementary School teachers, trained in Farm-to-School curriculum, lead students through lessons in seeds and germination, soils, insects, gardening, harvesting, and nutrition; classes will use the garden for teaching and learning.
Herbs are used in parent cooking classes held at the Madison Family Center that are part of PUSD’s Nutrition Network and grant-funded Healthy Start. The garden is maintained by PUSD staff, interns, parent and community volunteers.
New orchard trees planted along the perimeter offer community members fresh peaches, plums, apples, oranges, and pluots, among other fruit. The school garden includes vegetable, herbs, and fruit grown from seeds and seedlings.
“Thanks to the dedication and generosity of our community partners, we’re expanding the way students learn.”
– Superintendent Brian McDonald.