School gardens and hands-on garden-based education contribute to the success of farm to school programs and to student appreciation of Oregon Agriculture in addition to making curriculum connections with science, math, language arts, health and wellness. There are now over 40 edible school gardens throughout the district thanks to the efforts of committed students, staff, parents and community volunteers. PPS gardens across the district have benefited from strong partnerships with the City of Portland Community Garden Program, Multnomah County SUN Programs, Oregon State University Master Gardeners, Portland State University Leadership for Sustainability Education and community organizations such as Eat.Think.Grow, Growing Gardens and the Learning Gardens Institute. See the interactive map of school gardens created for the Oregon Department of Education Farm to School and School Garden website.
Guidelines for starting and maintaining gardens
Portland Public Schools encourages and supports the development of gardens for learning, beautification, and naturescaping. Facilities staff will provide technical assistance to volunteer projects and authorize projects to ensure completion of projects which meet codes. There must also be a plan for long-term maintenance and community support. Learn more about the six steps in the project process.
- Project Development Requests must be submitted to Facilities and Asset Management department
- Large projects (including community gardens) require at least six months to a year of planning.
Serving garden produce in the cafeteria
If you are a student, teacher, parent or community volunteer, please contact the Nutrition Services Central Office at 503-916-3399 to be connected with a Program Manager who will help plan ways to incorporate garden produce in the cafeteria at your school.
Oregon Department of Agriculture has created a great series of videos in partnership with KATU AM Northwest. See how School Gardens Celebrate Oregon Agriculture Everyday.
Oregon Department of Education has a Farm to School and School Garden website with links to many resources.
Growing Gardens digs at the root of hunger in Portland, Oregon by building organic, raised bed vegetable gardens in urban backyards. Our Youth Grow school garden clubs create future veggie eaters and cultivators, while our Learn & Grow classes cover cooking, preserving, and more.
Zenger Farm - Exploring the roots of food. Through experiential and sensory-based programs, visiting youth learn about the relationship between farming and environmental stewardship. They learn that healthy food comes from healthy soil, which can be anywhere - even in the city. The Youth Education program at Zenger Farm brings local K-12 youth to the farm to get their hands dirty and learn where their food comes from. Kids learn about sustainable farming practices, healthy soils, beneficial insects and wetland ecology. By participating in service-learning projects, they have the opportunity to be farmers.