How can I find a school garden near me to connect with?
Check out the Garden Map page to see an interactive map of school gardens, community gardens, urban farms, and wildlife habitat gardens in the Austin area.
How can I increase campus engagement and use of our schoolyard?
- Invite the Avid club to make videos of your garden or composting program
- Include the garden in CATCH night, Fine Arts Fest, Back to School Night, etc.
- Invite teachers to pick veggies or pick veggies yourself and put them in the teacher lounge
- Start an after school garden/art club
- Ask the PTA groundskeeper to organize a cleanup crew
- Host a garden day/farm day and have all teachers sign up for slots to do activities in the garden
- Set up an adopt a garden bed program for teachers and/or grade levels
Where can I get good deals on plants and trees?
- Tree Folks
- The Natural Gardener
- The Wildflower center will donate plants after their spring and fall plant sales
- Wholesale nurseries will sell to schools: Far South Nursery, Native TX Nursery
- AISD Clifton Center students in horticulture class sell plants they propagate 841-3365
- Sustainable Food Center's Spread the Harvest program offers free seeds and plants
- Native Plant Society of TX has seeds
We always need more mulch, soil, and compost. What are some tips for getting more inexpensively?
- Contact local coffee shops for coffee grounds
- East Side compost peddlers
- Sustainable Food Center's Spread the Harvest program offers free compost
- Check Daily Juice, grocery stores, and restaurants for food waste
- Partners with KAB can get soil, mulch, and compost
- Natural Gardener, Geo Growers, Organics By Gosh all deliver
- Tree mulch, soil and compost are available from AISD grounds
- Home Depot is an AISD vendor and will deliver soil and compost from Organics by Gosh
- Compost from Texas Disposal Systems
We are looking to reach out to the community for support with greening our schoolyard. Where should I start?
- Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts projects
- Sustainable Food Center offers consultation
- Local businesses like to donate and volunteer
- CiNCA: The Children in Nature Collaborative of Austin
- Local neighborhood associations
Our campus is looking for great speakers and field trip ideas. What are some local options for us?
- City of Austin Parks Dept
- TX Parks and Wildlife
- Keep Austin Beautiful
- Red Bud Center and other LCRA properties
- Wildflower Center
- Balcones Canyonland Preserve
- Westcave Preserve
- Austin ISD SHRC and Outdoor Learning Center
- Sustainable Food Center
See the Resources page for a comprehensive list of organizations.
When we have large volunteer days, we never seem to have enough tools. Where can we find tools to use?
- Check out tools from Keep Austin Beautiful's Tool Shack
- Check out tools from AISD's Science & Health Resource Center
- Lowes and Home Depot may donate use of their tiller or other tools
We have low attendance at our school volunteer weekends. Who can I reach out to for help with recruiting volunteers?
- Hands on Central Texas/United Way
- Keep Austin Beautiful
- Local restaurants and businesses can pay employees to help out in gardens.
- Large corporations located in the area usually have volunteer days
- Talk to PTA or Parent Support Specialist
- High School Orgs (NHS, sports teams, etc) needing service hours
We want to integrate our schoolyard into the curriculum. What are some free resources for teachers on outdoor learning?
- Junior Master Gardener
- Project Wild Teacher Trainings
- NWF has free lessons and activities online
- NSTA has several outdoor learning publications
- Sustainable Food Center offers a free yearly School Garden Classroom Training
- Slow Food USA offers free curricula guides
We are always looking for more stone to expand our gardens. Where can we find good stone in the area?
- AISD's Stone Vendor is AJ Brauer in Jarrell, TX
- Geo Growers in Southwest Austin
- Check Craigslist for free stone
- Construction companies are happy to have you clear stone off their sites (when safe to enter)
We are always looking for grant opportunities. What’s out there that we might have missed?
- EcoRise Youth Innovations has Eco-Audit Grants
- City of Austin has Bright Green Futures Grant
- TX Dept of Agriculture Urban Schools Grant
- Grant: Action for Healthy Kids
- Sustainable Food Center has an active list of garden grants
- REAL school gardens has an active list of school garden grants
- Your school district may have a grants office that can help you locate and write grants
- Home Depot and Lowe’s have grants for schools
- UT's Regional Foundation Library can help you search for grants
See the Funding page for grant suggestions.