School Gardens

School gardens provide dynamic outdoor classrooms where students gain fun hands-on experience with a wide range of subjects from science and math to project sprout -9-24-10 009planning, creative writing, and art. These gardens also bring the school community together and provide wildlife habitat to birds and pollinators.

We provide funding and technical assistance to public and private schools for installing edible, native, and pollinator gardens on school grounds. We work with the whole school community, including parents, teachers, students, school administrators, and volunteers in order to create a school garden that will thrive long-term. Students are encouraged to get involved in as much of the process as possible, including planning, plant selection, soil preparation, planting, creating maintenance plans for their sites, and creating interpretive signs for their school and the larger community. We also connect teachers with curriculum and professional development training opportunities so that the outdoor classrooms can be fully integrated into their lesson planning, while meeting the Next Generation Science Standards, the goals of Oregon’s Environmental Literacy Plan, and more.

If you are interested in planting a new school garden or restoring a neglected one, contact our Education Coordinator Laura Taylor at or 503.238.4775, ext. 112.

To apply for assistance of up to $2,000 per year up to three years, download and fill out this Funding Request Fillable Form, save it and send to Laura Taylor. Requests are accepted on a rolling basis and awarded based on fund availability and project compatibility with the District’s mission.

General School Garden Resources:

School and Community Garden Soil Health Education

School Garden Wizard

Architects in Schools

Resources for Edible Gardens:

Growing Gardens

Oregon Farm to School and School Garden Program

Google Groups: Portland Farm & Garden Educators Network

Resources for Native Habitat Gardens:

Backyard Habitat Certification Program

Native Plant Database from East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District

Portland Native Plant List 


SW Parent Child Collective Organic Native Plant Garden

Throughout the winter and spring of 2014 the SW Parent Child Collective (SWPCC) and Michael Carlson of Habitat Restoration NW worked to restore the Douglas fir forest north of the Methodist Church and adjacent to […]

Kingsley Community Garden

A West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District FISH grant (Financial Incentives for Sustainable Habitat) was awarded to the Linnton Neighborhood Association (LNA) for a new community garden at Kingsley Park.  LNA plans to create […]

Crossroads Community Garden

This project, funded through a WMSWCD “FISH” Grant, involves a number of community partners; Friends of Portland Community Gardens, Hillsdale Community Church/United Church of Christ, and others. Dubbed the Crossroads Community Garden, it will be […]