Life Lab

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

Mini-Grants to replicate the CSYSG training across the state have been awarded to the following organizations. To search upcoming workshops across California visit the California School Garden Network's event calendar.

View list of Mini-Grant funded Organizations on the bottom of this map: 2012-2013 CSYSG Proposed Locations.


CSYSG Trainer Materials

The Creating and Sustaining Your School Garden (CSYSG) Mini-Grant Program was established by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to support the statewide training efforts of organizations that have participated in the Creating and Sustaining School Gardens Trainers’ Workshops.  The purpose of the program is to increase the availability of comprehensive, affordable training for new school garden programs, with the goal of providing CSYSG content to over 450 people representing 100 schools across California.



Content below is informational only:

Download Mini-Grant information sheet and a copy of application questions. Applications must be submitted on line at the links below.

Mini-Grant applications will be processed and reviewed by the facilitators of the CSYSG Train the Trainers (3T) workshop you attended. Click on the 3T workshop location you attended to apply for a Mini-Grant:


  • Santa Cruz or Hayward Mini Grant Application
    questions? contact Whitney Cohen, 831-459-3833,

  • Davis or Modesto Mini Grant Application
    questions? contact Jane Pickney,

  • Los Angeles or San Diego Mini Grant Application
    questions? contact Russel Levan, 760-802-5690,


Mini-Grant Eligibility
Individuals and organizations that attended the CSYSG Trainers’ Workshops are eligible to apply for mini-grants. If more than 30 qualified applications are received, applications will be evaluated on the comprehensiveness of the training plan and the potential impact of the training, to be determined by the estimated number of workshop participants, the number of schools represented, and the geographic location of the training site. Applicants may apply for more than one mini-grant. If applying for one than one mini-grant please submit a separate application for each training plan/location.

Mini-Grant Guidelines
Mini-grant recipients are responsible for planning, promoting, offering and evaluating one or more CSYSG workshops for California schools. Specifically, mini-grant recipients are required to:

  • Work in a team of 2 or more trainers to conduct at least six hours of training using the CSYSG workshop materials. The training may take place over multiple training sessions, but the total training time must equal at least six hours.
  • Train at least 15 people. CSYSG training is recommended for school garden teams of 3-6 people, with 4 or more schools per workshop. We recommend school garden teams include at least one teacher. They can include parents, community volunteers, school administrators or other garden supporters.
  • Offer free or low-cost training. Workshop registration fees may not exceed $40/person.
  • List their workshop(s) on CSGN’s event calendar (
  • Collect written workshop evaluations from participants.
  • Submit an online final report survey that will include the workshop agenda, a roster of participants, and a summary of participant evaluations. Reports are due within 30 days after the training. 

During the 2012-2013 school year, Life Lab will use CDFA funds to award up to 30 mini-grants of $550 each.

Mini-grant funds may be used for the following purposes:

  • Workshop materials and supplies
  • Publicity costs, such as printing and mailing
  • Staff planning and workshop implementation time
  • Staff travel expenses to and from the training location
  • Beverages and snacks for workshop participants

NOTE: Indirect costs are not allowed on these mini-grants.

  • Applications must be received by July 6, 2012.
  • Mini-grant recipients will be notified by July 20, 2012.
  • Training must take place before August 30, 2013.
  • Funds will be awarded after training is complete. A class roster, agenda, and final report (summary of activities and feedback) are required for funds to be awarded.

Life Lab, the UC Davis Children’s Garden Program, and the Resource Conservation District of San Diego County will serve as regional grant management sites to oversee the funded trainings. Each mini-grant recipient will be contacted by staff from one of the above organizations. The regional grant management sites will provide consultation as needed on workshop content and logistics and collect final event reports. 

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1 week ago

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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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2 weeks ago

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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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3 weeks ago

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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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2 months ago

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Even though we’re 2 days into 2019 it’s not too late to donate to Life Lab! Our curriculum, our garden educator training, our interns are working with children year round in gardens across the country! See MoreSee Less

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2 months ago

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We love hearing children in our Watsonville school programs proudly proclaim, “I’m a scientist!” after dissecting flowers and drawing their structures.

By supporting Life Lab you help make these inspiring educational experiences available to all children regardless of what they can pay. See MoreSee Less

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2 months ago

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Sharing this citrus salsa recipe!

"After making citrus salsa with the class, I asked all of the students to say ‘cheers’ to the chefs who helped prepare this delicious & healthy snack. One of the students looked up and exclaimed, ‘That’s US! WE are the chefs! WE did it!’ I loved seeing that moment of recognition for him: that he (and his entire class) had actually created this healthy meal for all of us to share and enjoy."

-Life Lab Kids Cook Educator See MoreSee Less

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2 months ago

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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