“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” Marcel Proust
Granny’s Garden School turns school grounds into Schoolyard Nature Gardens that include flower and food gardens, gathering spaces, and a nature trail.
Then, we provide the infrastructure, personnel, volunteers, integrated curriculum, and project management that allow teachers to make use of this valuable educational tool that is full of possibilities. We currently provide hands-on management for four schools serving nearly 2,000 students, and advise another three schools.
Our in-school program is part of the school day.
Each classroom teacher is assigned a Garden Educator who guides the teacher and students in using the nature gardens. Our Garden Educators are guided by seasonal (spring/fall) lesson calendars that align with Ohio’s learning standards and the school’s curriculum, and work within the limitations of our zone six growing climate.
Each of our preschool-4th grade lesson plans are aligned with state standards in science, math and social studies, and provide multiple cross-curricular connections. We make our schedules, lesson plans, support information, and worksheets available, free, to school garden programs across the country.
This is not a guide on how to start a school garden program.
It is a guide to how the Granny’s Garden School program works. This section is used to support our Garden Educators in doing their jobs. All of our material is copyrighted, but we make it available here for anyone who can use it with the request that you recognize Granny’s Garden School as the source.
Credit goes to Jody Maher, our Education Director for the development of our lesson plans, curriculum and seasonal calendars. Jody joined the program as a parent volunteer in 2002 Jody works full time hiring, training and managing a team of eight Garden Educators who work with the classroom teachers to deliver each lesson. During the winter she is designing new ways to enhance our current lesson plans and developing new lessons as standards change. During the summer, she manages the Harvest Helper program and prepares for the coming school year. She also leads training sessions for others who are starting school gardens and represents Granny’s at public speaking venues.
“Education in a nature-based setting provides real-world experiential learning. Better observations can be made, which lead to deeper thinking and understanding.” – Jody Maher, Education Director for Granny’s Garden School
Carol Jones joined our Garden Educator team in August, 2015. A few days after she started, she wrote this note sharing her view of Granny’s Garden School from both her perspective as a parent and an employee from the inside.
“As a parent, I am always glad to see when my daughter brings home a Granny’s Garden worksheet, and I see they’ve been out in the garden. I appreciate the fact that Loveland has a hands-on program for the kids, and they get to garden outside the classroom. I know my daughter learns so much more when she can actually experience what she’s learning.”
“After training as a new hire in Granny’s Garden, I couldn’t believe the amount of work that actually goes on behind the scenes to keep the gardens maintained and keep the program running. The amount of tools, gardening materials and volunteers needed is phenomenal, and that’s just a part of the program. The part people don’t see is the tremendous effort it takes to find, coordinate, train and keep volunteers, schedule classes, and write curriculum to correspond with each grade’s science lessons. Now that I have a better understanding of how the garden program operates, it makes me appreciate the program even more. Our kids are so fortunate to access to this program.”
“I am thrilled with these plans! It is so difficult to get a school garden going and your time-tested and detailed plans give me confidence to keep trying. I can’t thank you enough.” Lynn McMenamin
Class Garden Locations and Maps