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Community Garden Project for High School Students

March 16, 2013

Community garden project for high school students

If you are a high school student or a teacher in charge of high school students, and you are thinking of building a community garden, follow this step-by-step process for building the community garden.

Step 1: Purpose of community garden

First and foremost, think about who the community garden project is for and why it is a good idea to build the garden. Is it for the neighborhood or the school? Is it for a garden patch located in a nursing home? Is it for little kids? And so on.

Step 2: Type of community garden

The second step is to make a decision on the type of garden to be built – a vegetable garden, flower garden, bushes and trees or the lot.

This really depends on the purpose of the garden. For example, if the garden is being built in a nursing home, is the garden to be used purely for viewing pleasure by seniors or for a special group within the nursing home?

Step 3: Selecting the community garden site

Select the site for the garden. If it is on public property, check council regulation requirements. Most councils will support a community garden project  if it has been planned well. Good sites should have:

  • regular sunlight and some shade;
  • good soil;
  • no past contamination of the site; and
  • available water.

Step 4: Planning the community garden

Once the community garden project has been decided on, planning is the next step in the development process. The plan should include:

  • the project purpose, background and aim;
  • the project description including a garden layout plan;
  • a schedule and timeline for the project;
  • the approximate cost of the project;
  • the materials and tools required;
  • building the garden – how long will it take and who will be the builders;
  • maintaining the garden – who will maintain the garden and prevent vandalism.

The project plan could in the form of simple one page outline of the project or a more detailed proposal, depending on the size of the garden, where it is to be built and the purpose of the garden. The requirements of the plan is also dependent on whether it needs to be submitted to the local authority or to the sponsor.

If a major sponsor is required for the project, it is likely that the sponsor will want to review the project in more detail. Possible sponsors include:

  • the school;
  • the owner of the site where the community garden is to be built;
  • churches, youth groups, community organizations and neighborhood groups;
  • private businesses and private individuals.

Step 5: Obtaining approvals and notifying residents

Approvals and permissions should be secured before starting on the project. Neighborhood or local residents (if the project is to be located in public area) must also be informed. Public liability insurance or a new concept “garden insurance” may be required.

Step 6: Building the community garden

The garden should be built according to what is outlined in the project plan. Do not increase the scope of the project unless completely necessary as “scope creep” may occur. This results in the project not being able to be completed on time and you may find that expenses keep piling up beyond what is anticipated.

Step 7: Maintaining the community garden

You might consider establishing a garden club or garden committee to take charge of the garden once it has been built.