Life Lab

Life Lab cultivates children's love of learning, healthy food, and nature through garden-based education.

Asphalt to Ecosystems – Greening Your Schoolyard

Sharon Danks, author of Asphalt to Ecosystems – Design Ideas for Schoolyard Transformations, shares a vision of creating outdoor learning spaces as places of beauty and inspiration for natural interactions. From her travels around the world documenting stellar examples of schoolyard greening and her experience as an Environmental Planner, Sharon provide ideas and resources for anyone interested in creating change on a school campus or outdoor community space. Her book highlights ecological teaching tools such as energy, water, and garden systems. Additionally she outlines how to plan for schoolyard transformation and includes hundreds of photos of "green" schoolyard design. Her emphasis on demonstrating ways to encourage outdoor play make this book useful for parents as well.

On September 16-18, 2011 Sharon and her colleagues will be hosting the 2011 International Green Schoolyards Conference, "Engaging Our Grounds" in San Francisco. Life Lab will be there – maybe we will see you there?

Sharon has an extensive list of organizations from around the world that support the creation of green schoolyards on her website. She mentioned the following as good sites to start exploring green schoolyards:

Evergreen (a nonprofit organization in Canada) has a great resource list for schools and school gardens including grades K-10 lessons for outdoor classroom exploration.

Learning through Landscapes based in the UK, Sharon mentions they have great publications.

Earthplay Network specializes in early childhood landscapes for preschools and community built nature play spaces.

Boston Schoolyard Initiative a great example of program that has reclaimed more than 130 acres of schoolyard asphalt.

Green Schools Initiative an extensive resource that focuses a bit more on policy and facilities than outdoor learning.


follow us on Facebook

Enjoy! ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Tomorrow is the day! The Human Race is one of the many ways you can support Life Lab in growing healthy, inspired children. Make a donation today (or register for the race!) at or visit the registration booth starting at 8AM tomorrow at 2300 Delaware Ave. in Santa Cruz. You don't want to miss the fun! #humanracesc, #isupportlifelab ... See MoreSee Less

2017 Human Race Walkathon and Fun Run

May 13, 2017, 8:00am - May 13, 2017, 2:00pm

Human Race Santa Cruz

Come walk, run, skip, or roll with us at the 37th Annual Human Race Walkathon and Fun Run. Enjoy delicious food, music along the 5 mile course, a people's parade, costumes and family friendly activities at the Fairy Tale Themed Village after the race. All who donate $35 or more will also receive a Human Race T-shirt. The Human Race is our community's largest giving campaign. This year, 130 Human Race teams are reaching out for your support. All you have to do to register is donate to your favorite cause then join the fun on race day. Our 2017 theme is FairyTales and all are welcome to join us in costume! REGISTER ONLINE at or on race day starting at 8AM. The race begins at 9AM at 2300 Delaware Ave in Santa Cruz. If you can't make it you can still grant a wish by making an online donation. Volunteers Needed: Want to volunteer at the Race? We are still looking for a few more folks to make this day a success. please contact Odessa at

View on Facebook

Calling our community! We are looking to borrow a projector with a minimum of 4,000 lumens. Let us know if you have any leads, thank you! ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Watch us on Youtube

View Life Lab Channel

Rachel PringleSenior Director of ProgramsEducation Outside

Life Lab has been the most innovative and relevant organization in this field. From providing the best curriculum to their cutting edge professional development, we have relied on Life Lab as our go to organization for support, ideas, and collaboration.

Erica CurryTraining and Professional Development ManagerFoodCorps

Life Lab provides truly inspiring training. Their breadth of experience, joy for teaching, and commitment to sharing knowledge highlight the best practices in food and garden education.

Sheila BrickenKindergarten TeacherSan Lorenzo Valley Elementary

Thank you for such a wonderful field trip experience! Your leaders did such a great job at keeping our kids engaged.

Tara NeierCamp ParentSummer camp mom

Terry had another awesome two weeks at Life Lab. I think he learns more there than in any other part of his year. School is great, but he’s passionate (and often dogmatic) about what he learns there.