School gardens continue to flourish and here at School Food Service we believe that tending the garden, grows great kids.  In the 2016-2017 school year, 123 of our 202 schools district-wide, including charter sites serviced by School Food Service, reported having a garden on their school campus.  The breakdown of these gardens is as follows:

School Type # with Gardens
Elementary 82
Middle 19
High 11
K-8 1
K-12 2
Charter 8


Garden Type Amount
Vegetable 106
Herb 57
Fruit 34
Butterfly 76

American Heart Association Grants:

Eight of our district schools are currently funded by a three year Teaching Gardens grant through the American Heart Association.  To qualify, each school must complete a comprehensive survey ensuring their commitment to the program.  Once a school is selected, they must establish a teaching gardens committee.  Each of these schools are in different phases of the grant.  Since no new grants were awarded in FY17, the American Heart Association offered to extend the grant an additional year.  Five of the six District schools chose to extend their garden program an additional year.


School Completing Second Year:

JC Mitchell Elementary

Schools Completing Third Year:

Banyan Creek Elementary

Lincoln Elementary

Schools Extended for a Fourth and Final Year:

Benoist Farms Elementary

Elbridge Gale Elementary

Glade View Elementary

Grassy Waters Elementary

KEC / Canal Point Elementary

New Garden Collaboration Team

To enhance and further support school gardens in our District, a Garden Collaboration Team was established.   The intention behind the Garden Collaboration Team was to create an alliance between all the District Departments that are impacted by School Gardens and work together to develop an infrastructure that created consisted practices district-wide while allowing for autonomy at each school site.  As a collaborative team, we worked on creating procedures to allow us to capture an accurate count of school gardens each year, to provide the guidance necessary to ensure successful outcomes, create resources to disseminate to schools to launch in FY18.  The District Departments involved were:

Building Code Services (BCS)

Environmental & Conservations Services (ECS)

Grants and Resource Development

Maintenance & Plant Operations (MP&O)

Risk Management / Safety

Safe Schools / Health Services

School Food Service (SFS)