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, a nonprofit organization, has emerged as 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, CA, we continue to 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


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 – or 831.471.7831(cell)

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Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Life Lab! We are grateful to be planting seeds of hope with every child that we reach. Join us and show your gratitude by supporting Life Lab on #GivingTuesday, 12/1. #isupportlifelab, #donate ... See MoreSee Less

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Thank you for being a small business, showing your dedication to our local community, and for joining our collaborative efforts with @SantaCruzCountySmallBusinessSaturday this holiday season. ... See MoreSee Less

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Black Friday... Cyber Monday... Mark your calendars for #GivingTuesday Dec. 1! It's an international day of giving, and Life Lab invites you to be a part of this movement with us. #isupportlifelab, #donate ... See MoreSee Less

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Life Lab updated their cover photo. ... See MoreSee Less

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Life Lab updated their cover photo. ... See MoreSee Less

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How might our world be different if the next generation approached challenges with curiosity, respect, and a deep appreciation for personal health and the health of the planet? Life Lab is teaching children to love learning, healthy food, and nature. Will you join us in this life-changing work with a donation to Life Lab today? #isupportlifelab #donate ... See MoreSee Less

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What a pleasure and honor to share a bit of Life Lab's work with the preschool that I attended when I was 4 years old - Anneleise's in Laguna Beach! It was a wonderful evening sharing a local, seasonal feast prepared by crazy talented chefs in support of SEEDS Arts and Education! #seedsartsandeducation ... See MoreSee Less

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Eat A Rainbow Lesson Video shows how we connect kids to nutrition education in the garden - we are not talking Skittles here! ... See MoreSee Less

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What a day in Watsonville! Started at HA Hyde with a Kindergarten garden assessment and signing up K-5 teachers for garden classes. Over a dozen teachers signed up to come and learn in one of the finest school gardens in the county created by Patrick Littleton. Then on to the revamped garden at Amesti School where we installed irrigation, planted some perennials, built a bench and finished the fencing. The day ended at the Life Lab Blooming Classroom with an after school harvest field trip for Hyde students and where our deer fencing project slowly moves along. #terrifictuesday @FoodCorps @pvusd ... 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.