Teaching Garden Program
The Teaching Garden at the Springs Preserve, made possible by a grant from the Rogers Foundation, is an active, outdoor learning laboratory where students and educators can learn the ins and outs of successful gardening in the desert Southwest. We are excited to welcome you and your students on a hands-on, educational journey to last throughout the year.
Teaching Garden Curriculum Guide
The Springs Preserve has developed a total of six lessons for each grade level that are correlated to state and national standards of learning. The overall objective of the program is to introduce each student to the concepts of basic gardening methods and maintenance, natural resources throughout history, exploring food sources, and encouraging a deeper understanding of sustainability in nature. Each grade level’s courses follow a standard set of themes:
- Pre-Preserve: This course introduces your students to the idea of a teaching garden and should be taught before the students arrive at the Springs Preserve Teaching Garden.
- Introduction to Gardening: This lesson, along with People and Plants, will be taught as one of two on-site lessons at the Springs Preserve. As both lessons will be led by Springs Preserve staff and Master Gardener volunteers, the lesson plan is not included in this guide.
- People and Plants: This class will focus on the interaction between humans and horticulture. It is the second of the on-site courses at the Springs Preserve Teaching Garden.
- STEM for Stems: The STEM lessons focus on using garden concepts to teach science, technology, engineering, and math.
- Garden Science: This class takes a closer look at a grade appropriate botanical concepts.
- Post-Preserve: This lesson will wrap up the course of study by tying together all the threads, and applying the value of gardens to the students’ lives.
While each lesson is planned for a target grade level, none of the lessons repeat. Therefore, for enrichment purposes or if there is a topic of particular interest, a class could use or adapt any lesson within the curriculum guide.
This guide also includes a Springs Preserve Journal for each grade level. The journal contains worksheets and extended materials designed specifically to correspond with each lesson plan.
Teaching Garden Video Series
The Springs Preserve Teaching Garden video series was created to support the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm-to-School training initiative. The goal of this series is to expand the reach of the physical Teaching Garden at the Springs Preserve by providing the necessary information and tools for each school to establish a successful vegetable garden. This educational series of 10 videos details the process of selecting, building, growing, maintaining and harvesting crops. Reference our Guiding Document for notes on each video and additional resources.
Looking for a more hands-on learning experience? Our Natural Garden Design series will deepen your knowledge about creating a successful teaching garden. This multi-class series is held seasonally at the Springs Preserve and offers Clark County School District teachers an opportunity to earn Professional Development Education (PDE) credits. Keep an eye on our Events & Activities calendar for the latest list of classes.