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
  • admin

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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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In 2016, you helped us bring 30 leaders from across the nation together for a first-ever Leadership Institute for School Garden Support Organizations.

The results are in on the work they have achieved together. In 2017, these 30 leaders collectively trained 463 teachers who teach over 10,000 students every year. And after their trainings, 98% of those 463 teachers reported an increase in their motivation and confidence to engage students in hands-on, experiential learning in a garden setting.

Do you know what that means?! That means more and more kids getting meaningful experiences like the students above! That’s why, in January of 2018 we’ll be hosting another Leadership Institute, this time for 50 leaders who will be coming in from all across the US, including leaders from Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Because every child everywhere deserves the chance to discover a love of learning, healthy food, and nature. We can’t wait to see what these leaders accomplish in the year to come!

#beapartofit
www.lifelab.org/donate
#isupportlifelab, #neverdoubt, #allchildrendeservethis,
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Late afternoon light at the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems is the best time of day. Add aerial video and fall colors and you get a real nice video. ... See MoreSee Less

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Today is the 174th birthday of Gertrude Jekyll, a British horticulturist, garden designer, artist, and writer. She created over 400 gardens in the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States.

"A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust." -Gertrude Jekyll
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A heartfelt thank you to our generous community for all of your support on #GivingTuesday yesterday! We celebrate all of YOU this #ThankYouWednesday--with your partnership, we are growing healthy, inspired children!
#isupportlifelab, #grateful
www.lifelab.org/donate
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Over the past four years, the amount of mobile screen time has tripled in kids under eight. Our programs get kids outdoors in gardens and farms where they are physically active and learn to love nature!

"We will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we are taught." - Baba Dioum

Will you join us today for #GivingTuesday in providing opportunities for children to love nature?

www.lifelab.org/donate, #isupportlifelab, #nature, #beapartofit
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The next generation of problem solvers will come from tomorrow's scientists. We partner with five schools in Watsonville to spark the curiosity of over 3,000 students in our school garden and field trip programs. Another 2,500 students engage in hands-on, garden-based learning at our Garden Classroom in Santa Cruz, too.

"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing." - Albert Einstein

You can influence real change today by supporting Life Lab for #GivingTuesday.

www.lifelab.org/donate, #isupportlifelab, #beapartofit, #cultivatingthescientistsoftomorrow, #donate,
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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.
Rachel PringleSenior Director of ProgramsEducation Outside
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.
Erica CurryTraining and Professional Development ManagerFoodCorps
Thank you for such a wonderful field trip experience! Your leaders did such a great job at keeping our kids engaged.
Sheila BrickenKindergarten TeacherSan Lorenzo Valley Elementary
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.
Tara NeierCamp ParentSummer camp mom