Learning Gardens

Learning Gardens brings garden-based learning to NYC schoolchildren and community members. Using NYC Parks gardens, we present engaging interdisciplinary lessons in core subjects. Students in grades pre-K - 8 and their teachers receive learning materials, curricula, and tools to enhance their use of the gardens.

City Parks Foundation’s Learning Gardens are outdoor classrooms that provide vibrant green space in some of New York City’s most densely populated neighborhoods. We operate four gardens in three boroughs:

• Grove Hill Community Garden in Morrisania, Bronx
• Abib Newborn Garden in Brownsville, Brooklyn
• Umoja Garden in Bushwick, Brooklyn
• Detective Keith Williams Community Garden at Liberty Park in South Jamaica, Queens.

Learning Gardens

As outdoor classrooms, our gardens give 2nd – 12th grade students from neighboring schools a hands-on experience to understand how produce grows and how urban ecosystems function. The gardens are places for young people to connect directly with nature and to be environmental stewards – as they sow seeds, study pollinators, explore biodiversity and care for the natural world.  Learning out-of-doors provides all students with the ability to synthesize and apply information in real time in a real life setting. This inquiry-based approach makes Learning Gardens a fascinating place to educate people of all ages.

Elementary and middle school students receive a series of 14 garden-based science lessons throughout the school year. Professional development, curriculum, and supplemental resources are provided for participating teachers.

For more information about school day programs, please contact Joel Rodriguez, Director of Environmental Education, at jrodriguez@cityparksfoundation.org.

Each week from July 6 to August 13, eight lucky summer camp groups from local community organizations join CPF horticulturists and environmental scientists at one of four Learning Gardens to experience community gardening, growing healthy food and keeping fit. Don gardening gloves, grab a trowel and receive up to 15 low-cost hours of fun-filled, garden-based science instruction.

High school students are Learning Gardens apprentices, receiving high school credit for up to 60 hours of instruction.  All students who complete the coursework transition into paid summer internships.

Community gardeners tend their own beds, tilling the earth and building community. They grow fresh produce they might otherwise lack access to, organize for a common cause, and foster an appreciation for living things in an urban environment.

For more information about summer programs, community gardening or high school programs, contact Chrissy Word, Director of Youth Development, at cword@cityparksfoundation.org.