Life Lab

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

Creating and Sustaining Your School Garden Workshop

The Creating and Sustaining Your School Garden (CSYSG) Workshop is a FREE, one-day training for teams working to create or enhance a school garden program. This workshop covers planning and designing a school garden, basic gardening skills, curricular connections and outdoor classroom management.

The California School Garden Training Program is awaiting notification of additional funds to offer more free and low cost school garden trainings. Currently there are no CSGT sponsored workshops being offered.

CSGT Workshop Notification List to be notified of future CSGT workshop announcements and locations.

View other school garden workshops at the calendar. View upcoming Life Lab workshops at The Garden Classroom at

View CSYSG training resources at

School garden teams of 2-4 are encouraged to attend. Teams may include teachers, parents, volunteers, school administrators, and other supporters of your garden program. There is no cost for attending this workshops, but advanced registration is required.

If registering a team, please submit one registration for your team and list all team members' names, emails, and roles. Come with a team of 3 or more and receive a school garden gift!

Workshops serve up to 25 participants. 


All participants will receive the book Gardens for Learning, published by the California School Garden Network, as well as other resource materials.

1 semester unit of graduate education credit available for $60.

CSYSG Workshop Agenda Topics

  • Why School Gardens?
  • Outdoor Classroom Management
  • Garden Beds and Planting
  • Weeds, Water, and Pests
  • Curricular Connections
  • Crop Planning and Plant Selection
  • School Garden Design
  • Planning Your Program

CSYSG Workshop Goals

Participants will:

  1. Understand the power of school gardens in promoting academic achievement, healthy lifestyles,environmental stewardship, and community and social development.
  2. Become familiar with design elements of educational gardens.
  3. Become comfortable with basic gardening skills.
  4. Learn methods for effective outdoor classroom management.
  5. Become familiar with a variety of helpful resources related to creating and sustaining school gardens.
  6. Understand the value and necessity of teamwork to start and sustain a school garden.
  7. Network with other, local people involved in creating and sustaining school gardens.
  8. Have an initial plan for their school garden program.


The California School Garden Training Program is funded by a California Department of Food and Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant. The program will train 1,500 people in creating and sustaining school gardens from 2012-2014. Learn more about the CSGT.  


Training partners include Life Lab, UC Davis Children's Garden Program, and The Resource Conservation District of Greater San Diego County, all in collaboration with the California School Garden Network.

follow us on Facebook

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

View on Facebook

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

View on Facebook

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

View on Facebook

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

View on Facebook

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

View on Facebook

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

View on Facebook

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

View on Facebook

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

View on Facebook

Things are a changing in the Pajaro Valley School District. ... See MoreSee Less

Get to Know 'Em Thursday! Learn about our FoodCorps California service members every Thursday. Service Member Lidia Tropeano is serving with CAFF: Central Coast and Life Lab in Santa Cruz and Watsonville. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz Lidia joined FoodCorps after working with a school garden in Watsonville. With years of garden education experience, Lidia is now supporting another school garden close by in addition to the Harvest of the Month program. #CAFF #LifeLab #farmtoschool Learn more about her here:

View on Facebook

Watch us on Youtube

View Life Lab Channel


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.