Life Lab

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

OWLS Confirmation

OWLS Information for 2016

Greetings summer camp families! Thank you for registering your 12-14 year old for OWLS (Outdoor Wonderful Leaders at Summer camp). We're excited to spend this time with your child in the Garden Classroom!

Our Location: Life Lab Summer Day Camps take place at the Life Lab Garden Classroom on the UCSC Farm. The Farm is located at the base of UCSC Campus. 

OWLS Training: Our required training day is Wednesday, June 15th, 2:00-4:00 p.m. at the Garden Classroom. Please bring your child to the Garden Classroom by 2:00 and return for him/her at 4:00. During this time your child will meet our camp staff and other OWLS, find out about what happens at Garden Sprouts and how they can be a part of it, and briefly explore Positive Discipline and Inclusivity at camp. 

Beginning and End of the Day: The OWLS day begins at 8:00 a.m. Please bring your child directly to the Garden Sprouts Camp area at the Garden Classroom by 8:00. Parking meters are available at the Hay Barn parking lot, where you will pick up your child at the end of the day. 

OWLS will be ready for pickup at 1:00 at the Hay Barn (this is a NEW camp pick-up location– please click here for map & directions), unless they are assisting with after-care. When you pick up your child, please “check out” with us. Please respect our ending time and pick up your child by 1:10.

After-care: OWLS who are assisting with after-care will be ready for pick-up at 3:00 at the Hay Barn. Please pick up your child by 3:10.

Essential Items for OWLS to Bring Each Day:
Lunch and snack (for OWLS assisting with after-care, please pack an extra snack for the afternoon)
Leak-proof water bottle
Closed-toe shoes (please no sandals)
Hat and sunscreen

Please leave at home:
Electronic devices (an emergency cell phone is okay as long as it stays in the backpack)

Parking Info: You don’t need a permit just for picking up campers; but UCSC does charge for parking when you leave your car unattended. While bringing your child to the Garden Classroom in the morning, please park at a meter or purchase a permit at the kiosk near the base of campus.

Thank you for supporting Life Lab. We are a non-profit organization and your camp fee directly supports our programs. We look forward to seeing you in the Garden!  Please contact us with any questions or concerns: (831) 459-4035 or

Thanks! We’re looking forward to a great summer in the garden!

Amy Carlson, Garden Sprouts Director MWF
Jennifer Eckert-Bernau, Garden Sprouts Director TTh
Kim Woodland, Garden Sprouts Director Session 4 MWF & TTh


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Teaching a Growing Classroom Workshop at @OakSpringGardenFoundation in collaboration with I feel like I’ve fallen into a small French village. This is the former estate of Paul and Rachel “Bunny” Mellon in Virginia. Mrs. Mellon was an avid horticulturalist who designed the White House Rose Garden! I am staying in the room where Jackie Kennedy stayed when she visited here!! Sharing a weekend in this space with teachers who love kids and gardens is a truly unforgettable experience. ... See MoreSee Less

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Just when I thought we’d seen it all ... this is an agrophotovoltaic school garden underneath massive solar panels at @Manzo.Ecology in Tucson. The elementary school students here gather and analyze data on how the shade from the panels helps the plants grow and how the plants help cool the panels and increase their efficiency. What?!?! It’s amazing and gives me hope. Oh, and also they have a desert tortoise in their courtyard. ... See MoreSee Less

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Have you heard?! Life Lab is one of New Leaf Community Markets' recipients of their EnviroToken program at their Westside Santa Cruz store! So get your shopping on, bring your reusable bags, and donate 10¢ to Life Lab with every bag you use! Thank you, New Leaf!
#thankyou, #grateful, #ReduceReuseRecycle, #isupportlifelab
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What happens when Whole Kids Foundation partners with you to bring 50+ leaders from School Garden Support Organizations from across the country together to get to talk shop, inspire each other, problem-solve around shared challenges, and eat amazing food prepared and served by happy 5th graders? MAGIC. That's what happens. #sgso2018 ... See MoreSee Less

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Have you heard?! Life Lab is one of New Leaf Community Markets' recipients of their EnviroToken program for their Westside Santa Cruz store! So get your shopping on, bring your reusable bags, and donate 10¢ to Life Lab with every bag you use! Thank you, New Leaf!
#thankyou, #grateful, #ReduceReuseRecycle, #isupportlifelab
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We are so grateful to be starting 2018 with such strong support! Because of so many generous gifts from our supporters like you, we surpassed our 2017 fundraising goal of $124,000, with all campaign donations totaling $125,835.

These funds will help make Life Lab field trip and summer camp programs possible for children from families and schools that could otherwise not afford them. We believe that ALL children deserve the chance to love learning, healthy food, and nature. Thanks to your support, this year we will serve even more children in Santa Cruz County and across the nation.


#beapartofit, #startingstrong, #changinglives, #isupportlifelab
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Happy almost 2018, Life Lab fans! We are only $809 dollars away from reaching our $124,000 year-end fundraising goal! Before you ring in the new year, will you help us ensure a promising 2018? 100% of the funds necessary to do this important work come from grants and from individuals like you. Will you join us in ensuring that we can continue to deepen and expand our reach, so that even more children can experience the joy of loving learning, healthy food, and nature? Your tax-deductible gift made by midnight tonight will go directly to supporting our programs.
#beapartofit, #changinglives, #optoutside, #gardenbasededucation, #happynewyear
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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