Life Lab

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

Our Garden Classroom

In 1998, Life Lab Science Program began dreaming about creating an outdoor learning center where people could experience garden-based education.  After much planning, research and design, construction began in April of 2001. Life Lab along with the UC Santa Cruz Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems co-manage the two-acre Garden Classroom. The Garden Classroom which is located on the UCSC CASFS Farm overlooking the Monterey Bay. Come visit!

Life Lab Garden Classroom Map and Scavenger Hunt

Download Garden Classroom Map and Guide

Download Garden Classroom Educational Elements which lists resources and ideas to replicate in your educational garden. View as a text document with live links.

 

Garden Classroom Tri-fold Brochure

Programs in the Garden Classroom
 What You’ll Find in The Garden Classroom
  • The Rot Zone: A compost demonstration area featuring over ten different composting and vermicomposting structures
  • A chicken coop with laying hens view our chicken cam  view our coop design
  • Birds, Bats, Bees, Butterflies and Beyond: A wildlife habitat featuring bird blind, plant tunnel, native plants, nectary, solar powered bird bath, many feeders, bat house bird viewing station, hawk perch, bird houses and herb bed
  • Pollination garden which features annual and perennial plants
  • Observational Bee Hive
  • Tropical/Dry Comparison Beds which feature plants with different adaptations for their environment
  • A mini bog environment which hosts a hoard of carnivorous plants
  • Central Spiral with plant petting zoo that features touchable plants of many textures and scents
  • Tea beds full of harvestable teas and herbs
  • Cut flower bed
  • Native plant meadow
  • Freshwater Pond featuring aquatic plants & waterfall
  • Tool shed and storage area
  • Sculpture, mosaic and other art projects in the garden
  • Weather station
  • Fruiting trees, shrubs, and vines
  • Root view box
  • Pizza bed
  • Track Trail: wildlife footprints tell stories in the concrete pathways
  • Recycled and salvaged materials used throughout demonstrate creative reuse
  • A Human Sundial
  • An Outdoor Garden Kitchen with Cob and Solar Ovens
  • Agricultural History Timeline
  • Vegetable row crop field for growing food crops
  • Benches for picnicking
  • A musical tree
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    It’s a wonderful thing that this kind of classroom was being implemented and being introduced to those students who wanted to learn something in there. It’s a good technique actually that they did for their students.

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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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First week of camp has been great! www.lifelab.org/camp ... See MoreSee Less

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Join other school garden support organizations to strengthen the work you do December 4-9, 2016!

Apply to our School Garden Support Organization Leadership Institute by July 15th.

Learn more and apply at www.lifelab.org/sgso

Hosted in partnership with Whole Kids Foundation
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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.