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School Gardens

GrowWELL provides resources to support the maintenance and academic integration of school gardens; these can stimulate student curiosity, encourage fruit and vegetable consumption and engage the broader school community.

Use your garden to become LearnWELL and align with CPS Wellness policies using the following strategies.

  • School Leadership: Connect your garden team with your wellness team.

  • Parent Engagement: Have at least one non-staff volunteer on the garden team.

  • Physical Education: Discuss the muscles and movements required for turning soil, getting near the ground, weeding, and other garden activities.
  • Frequent Movement Breaks: Take your students on at least one weeding blitz a month, get active, and maintain the garden—all at the same time!
  • Outdoor Play/Outdoor Learning: Teach in the garden, enjoy recess in the garden - the garden is part of a larger outdoor space that should be explored.
  • Nutrition Education: The garden is a natural place for nutrition education. Regularly incorporate nutrition education into any garden activities.
  • School Food: Eat from the garden! Become Eat What You Grow certified and serve garden produce in the dining center or for snack.



  • Become Eat What You Grow certified! Attend a required CPS Food Safety training so that produce can be served in the dining center and classroom.
  • Integrate the garden into every grade level and content area to maximize learning opportunities.
  • Maintain a garden team of at least three staff members.
  • Use the garden for community engagement.
  • Staff should attend at least two school garden professional development opportunities per year.
  • Allocate resources for garden upkeep on an annual basis.

Student Health and Wellness

773-553-KIDS (5437)

42 W. Madison St.
Chicago, IL 60602