Project ID



Six Des Moines schools served as testing grounds for using school gardens as an educational, community-building, health-enhancing tool. FoodCorps members worked with teachers, staff, students and parents to show how school gardens could enrich their existenc.

Key Question

How can you establish an effective school garden program in the largest school district in Iowa?


Based on the Des Moines experience, these recommendations are offered to other school districts and FoodCorps service sites: 1) Start small and concentrate efforts. 2) Find advocates within the school. Select schools by identifying teachers or other staff who are willing to take leadership to connect nutritional education with garden-based activities that connect classroom curriculum to the garden. 3) Develop a regular schedule for activities that promote fresh food and gardening so that gardening and nutrition education becomes a regular part of the school schedule, which encourages teachers and local partners to plan, participate and take ownership. 4) Link school leaders to farm-to-school resources that make it easy for them to plan and conduct lessons around garden-based education.

Principal Investigator(s)

Ann Robinson


Hannah Lewis

Year of Grant Completion