Life Lab

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

About Life Lab

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

Drawing on over thirty-five years of work with young people in gardens, Life Lab, is a national leader in the garden-based learning movement. Through workshops and consultations, we have provided tens of thousands of educators across the country with the inspiration and information necessary to engage young people in gardens and on farms. Our workshops and award-winning publications are the go-to resource for educators and families interested in engaging young people in gardens. At the Life Lab Garden Classroom educational center in Santa Cruz and the Blooming Classroom garden in Watsonville, we promote experiential learning for people of all ages through field trips,  children's camps, and teacher workshops.

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Life Lab Programs

See How We are Changing the Nature of Education

Who We've Trained Lately

Newsletters

Annual Reports

Life Lab History
It all started in 1979 with a team of inspired teachers, some open land outside a classroom, and a vision. Since the first Life Lab school garden was created at Green Acres Elementary School in Santa Cruz, CA, Life Lab has continuously engaged young people in gardens and taught others to do the same. View a timeline of our history documented on our blog.

Life Lab in the News
From the New York Times to our local TV stations, Life Lab has been press-worthy for over thirty years. View 35 plus years of press.

 

Recognition for Life Lab

Life Lab has won numerous awards and has been acclaimed by the following groups and individuals, among others:

 

For media inquiries, contact John Fisher, Outreach Director – gardendirector@lifelab.org or 831.471.7831(cell)

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This year's Slow Food Santa Cruz Edible Garden Tour highlights and benefits Watsonville School Gardens! 10 a.m on September 10th

The tour starts at H.A. Hyde Elementary the most impressive production school garden in the county!

Join the tour to explore programs that engage children and teachers in organic gardening, provide fresh nutritious snacks at recess, and share organic vegetable boxes with the families of participating students.

There will be an after-party and silent auction to raise funds for Slow Food Santa Cruz and the Watsonville school gardens starting at 2 p.m. at Elkhorn Slough Brewing!
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It is our last week of Garden Sprouts and Wildlands and Watering Cans day camps :( But we know the fun, tastes, songs, stories and magic of the outdoors will be waiting for everyone next summer.

Meanwhile we will be sharing nourishment and learning all school year with thousands of school children via field trips and school garden instruction.

Bring learning to life in the garden!
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Great Summer Workshop! A summer visit to Santa Cruz is even better when you attend a Growing Classroom Workshop. Gain some inspiration for your outdoor teaching at our 2-day intensive on garden-based learning. August 2-3 - great food, great people, great location, great garden, great workshop. Early bird registration ends 7/20 www.lifelab.org/for-educators/professional-development/gcworkshops/tgc/ ... See MoreSee Less

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Thanks @foodwhatfarm for the workday BLAST: deer fence up - check, field weeded and planted - done, signs painted - beautiful, perennials planted - love it! ... See MoreSee Less

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Rachel Pringle

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 Curry

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 Bricken

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 Neier

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.