Life Lab

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

Creating a culture of garden-based learning in schools to enhance science and nutrition education.

What Life Lab Provides to Partner Schools

  • Scheduled NGSS lessons co-taught by Life Lab staff and your Kinder-2nd grade teachers. Lessons scheduled up to twice a month, Mid-September – Early-December and Mid-April – Late-May. View K-2 unit overview
  • Science lesson materials and garden literature library that are in alignment with PVUSD's Science and Environmental Literacy Plan.
  • Cooking and nutrition units for 3rd – 5th grade classes scheduled Late January – March using our mobile cooking cart . Cooking cart is provided for your school.
  • Opportunities for your teachers to attend free Garden Classroom Educator Workshops.
  • Garden maintenance and technical support via our Garden Crew College Intern program.
  • Online garden management and communication tool.

School Commitments

  • Appoint a school garden lead(s) to:

    • communicate/coordinate lesson scheduling among classroom teachers
    • collaborate with Life Lab staff on school garden grants and identifying/requesting funds for garden support
    • help schedule 1-2 garden workdays
  • Schedule a fall and late winter Life Lab PD session with K-2 teachers and check-ins with K-2 grade level planning teams.
  • Participating teachers complete a pre program and post program survey on garden use and their student's attitudes.
  • Principal and garden lead planning meeting with Life Lab to take place before end of 2016-17 school year.


Our Partner School Project is part of Life Lab's Pajaro Valley Initiative with funding from Sage Garden Project.

Principals, Apply to partner with Life Lab to bring science learning and nutrition education to life in your school garden.

Life Lab's mentoring and support have brought our garden program to life.  Our students are motivated and excited about science and gardening because they get to be immersed in the vividness of real-life, hands-on experiences in the outdoors.  They look forward to their garden lessons and constantly share with others concepts and experiences that they just experienced in the outdoor science lab.  We love the Amesti Eagles' garden!

~ Margaret Rosa Reading Intervention Teacher/ School Garden Coordinator Amesti Elementary School


2018-19 Application is not open at this time. Join our Watsonville School Garden Elist

2017-18 Watsonville School Garden Project Partner School Application (Application Closed)

Complete the form below or access it here.
Form to be completed by school principal.

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3 days ago

Life Lab

It was such a pleasure reconnecting with all the garden educators from the Santa Cruz area yesterday. You all are doing an incredible job! We hoped that you all had a great time sharing your experience in working at your school’s garden. We look forward to seeing you very soon!

If were not able to make it to yesterdays Garden Educator Gathering, please sign up for our mailing list so you can keep up to date with all of our events. We have some really exciting 40th celebrations coming soon. See MoreSee Less

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4 days ago

Life Lab

Thank you to all the educators that came out and participated in our Intro to NGSS workshop. It was great meeting all of you. An extra special thank you to Edible Schoolyard Japan (エディブル・スクールヤード・ジャパン) for coming all the way from Japan to be a part of our workshop!

If you’re interested in joining our upcoming workshops click here See MoreSee Less

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1 week ago

Life Lab

Life Lab is hiring an Educator Training Specialist!!!

We are looking for an individual who is personable, approachable, and flexible nature; that has outstanding teaching and organizational skills.

Life Lab’s Educator Training Specialist will manage our on- and off-site educator workshops and lead some of our workshops. Tasks will include:

• Offsite Workshop Coordination
• Onsite Workshop Coordination
• Lead Educator Workshops
• Curriculum Development

Key Qualities of the Educator Training Specialist are:

• a deep commitment to the mission of Life Lab, which is to cultivate children’s love of learning, healthy food, and nature through garden-based education
• cross-cultural competency, with a deep commitment to equity and inclusion in education
• outstanding teaching skills
• 3 or more years of experience teaching children in a school garden or other outdoor education setting
• experience leading trainings for educators or other adult learners

If this sounds like a job made just for you please click here for more details.

Please Share if you know someone who would love the opportunity to make a meaningful impact on children’s lives. See MoreSee Less

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1 week ago

Life Lab

Looking for ideas to keep your school gardens tended and active during the summer? Are you thinking of new ways to bring garden-based learning to a community garden or farm site? Join us for a webinar on the ins and outs of running kids day camp programs on educational gardens.

Erin Jackson, Education Director at Gallatin Valley Farm to School, and Amy Carlson, Garden Education Director at Life Lab, will share their years of experience and resources for creating day camp programs.

From promotions to post assessments and everything in between, this hour long webinar will provide you with inspiration and ideas to create or enhance summer programming on your educational garden or farm.

To register click here! See MoreSee Less

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1 month ago

Life Lab

Thanks Christine at for sharing a good winter time lesson from The Growing Classroom.Christine shares a hands-on garden planning lesson using mapping, math, and scale drawing skills from one of our best-known resources, The Growing Classroom!… See MoreSee Less

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1 month ago

Life Lab
Join Us For a 2019 Life Lab Garden Classroom Workshop

~ Meet and learn from other garden-based educators

~ Be inspired by our model educational Garden Classroom Site

~ Enjoy a delicious, fresh meal

~ Take home lessons and resources to use in the garden or classroom See MoreSee Less

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2 months ago

Life Lab

Last week we were thrilled to have garden educators from around the country collaborate at our School Garden Support Organization Leadership Institute.

Will you apply next year? Pictures (and smiles) tell it better than our words can.

Thank you all for participating!Kristen and Kat spent last week at the School Garden Support Organization Leadership Institute hosted by Life Lab in Santa Cruz, California. The institute provided the opportunity for us to learn best practices in networking, sustainability, evaluation, school standards, and more from school garden organizations from all over the country. We also got to visit some truly dreamy and fully-integrated school gardens. We can’t wait to share our BIG goals and vision for OKC Harvest with you! See MoreSee Less

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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