Madison Area School Gardens

Gardener-in-Residence program

 Do you have a school garden that is under-utilized?  Are you a teacher who simply doesn't have the capacity to incorporate outdoor learning into your classroom routine?  Let's work together to grow your school garden both as a food source and a teaching resource for your school community. 

The Gardener-in-Residence Program includes development and staffing for existing school gardens. Community  GroundWorks (CGW) will provide an experienced  garden educator to serve as the gardener-in-residence (GiR) instructor.  The GiR will lead weekly outdoor gardening sessions and support school staff to utilize the garden as a dynamic outdoor learning environment.  In each gardening session, the GiR will engage students in growing and harvesting food based on teacher’s curricular needs and the growing season.

The GiR will coordinate with teachers, volunteers, and the Parent/Teacher Organization (if applicable) to ensure broad student access to the garden.

Your school’s gardener-in-residence will manage the garden from April through October, and ensure that it is well-maintained throughout the growing season.  CGW will provide the following garden supplies: seeds and seedlings, potting soil, compost, wood chips, and mulch.

What will I get from a Gardener in Residence (GiR) Program?

  • An experienced garden educator to lead weekly garden sessions with your students in spring and fall.
  • Garden supplies to include seeds, potting soil, compost, wood chips, and mulch.
  • A well managed and productive school garden throughout the growing season.
  • Support for your school staff to use the garden to facilitate classroom learning.
  • Help coordinating annual spring and fall school garden workdays as needed.

How much does it cost?

Each school’s needs vary. Services and fees may vary based on the specific plan created for your school. Contact for an estimate.

Where will I get funding from to pay for a GiR program?

Get creative!  Some possibilities include:

  • grants,
  • PTG allocation,
  • school fundraiser,
  • partnering with your after-school program,
  • community partners and/or businesses who want to support healthy food initiatives in schools.
Questions?  Contact Ginny Hughes at