Life Lab

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

Workshops at the Garden Classroom

Life Lab Garden Classroom Workshops

Graduate Education CreditIn the amazing Garden Classroom and beyond, Life Lab has trained tens of thousands of educators. Join us as we bring learning to life in the garden!

That was THE BEST workshop ever! I learned so much. Plus, I felt like I was on a mini-vacation. I'm all blissed out!  – Email from workshop participant

Upcoming Educator Workshops in the Life Lab Garden Classroom

Santa Cruz County Public School Educators learn more about reduced rate registration!

View workshop descriptions and register for the following workshops:

10% Early-Bird Registration Discount will be applied in check-out process for workshops registered 14 days prior to workshop start date.

  • 3/17/18 – Sowing the Seeds of Wonder – Discovering the Garden in Early Childhood Education
  • 4/20/18 – Introduction to Next Generation Science in the Garden
  • 4/21/18 – Developing Your NGSS Lessons
  • 5/4/18 – Math & Language Arts in the Garden
  • 6/20/18 – School Gardens Tour
  • 6/21-22/18 – The Growing Classroom
  • 7/26-27/18 – Outdoor Classroom Management
  • 9/14/18 – Sowing the Seeds of Wonder, Part 1 –  Designing the Preschool Garden Learning Environment
  • 9/15/18 – Sowing the Seeds of Wonder, Part 2 – Garden Activities that Inspire a Love of Learning, Healthy Food & Nature
  • 9/21/18 – Introduction to Next Generation Science in the Garden
  • 9/22/18 – Developing Your NGSS Lessons
  • 10/11-12/18 – Plant to Plate – Garden-Enhanced Nutrition Education
  • 10/13/18 – FoodLab the Kitchen Classroom

Attend a workshop at our Garden Classroom training center and:

If you would like to be notified when we add new workshop dates, please join our email list.

  • be inspired by our model educational garden site
  • take a walking tour of the 25-acre UCSC Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems organic farm
  • meet and learn from other garden-based educatorsWorkshop Meals Provided by our Healthy Schools Partner Charlie Hong Kongs
  • enjoy a fresh meal from our healthy food partner Charlie Hong Kong
  • take home loads of useful resources

Payment Options

  • To register online and pay by credit card or pay pal, click the appropriate order button above.
  • To print and mail or fax your registration and payment, use Mail_in_Reg_Workshop_Form.  This would also be the way to pay with a Purchase Order.  Please include a copy of the PO with the registration form.
  • Or by phone at (831) 459-2001

Cancellation Policy

  • We understand that plans can change.  Should you wish to cancel your registration, please submit, in writing, your cancellation to  Your registration fee will be refunded, less a $50 administrative fee.  Regretfully, we will not be able to refund any fees if cancellation is made within 2 weeks of the workshop date except, of course, in cases of illness or emergency.

Financial Aid

Life Lab offers a limited number of workshop fee reductions based on need and anticipated impact. FinancialAssistanceApp

For questions, please contact Sandy Gmür at 831.459.2001 or

Life Lab and collaborators offer more training opportunities through occasional grant funded programs. Learn more.

Life Lab can provide a workshop for your staff at your site. Click for details.

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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
... See MoreSee Less

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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