School personnel will be better equipped to start school gardens next spring by participating in a four session course offered by University of Illinois Extension, Fulton-Mason-Peoria-Tazewell Unit.  The first class will be on Tuesday, January 14 at 6 p.m. at the Extension office in Peoria.  The topic will be “What you need to start a school garden.” Details are below:

  • Sessions 1 & 2: Jan 14. -  What you need to start a school garden: Grants/funding & Partners/volunteers and School gardening basics: When and what to plant
  • Session 3: Feb 13 - More than Just a Garden: Engaging Parents and Communities in Gardening/ Food Safety in the Garden 
  • Session 4: March 3 - Theme and Alternative Gardens: Incorporating art, nutrition, and youth components related to garden themes

“School gardens are a wonderful way to use the schoolyard as a classroom, reconnect students with the natural world and the true source of their food, and teach them valuable gardening and agriculture concepts and skills that integrate with several subjects, such as math, science, art, health and physical education, and social studies, as well as several educational goals, including personal and social responsibility.” (“Benefits of School Gardens.” Scoil Bhride NS, 2019, scoil-bhride.com/activities/benefits-of-school-garden/.)

You may register online at go.illinois.edu/schoolgardenseries. The class is free and individuals or teams from a school are welcome to attend. Participants are encouraged to attend all four sessions.

For more information contact Nicole Flowers-Kimmerle, Extension horticulture educator, at nflower2@illinois.edu or 309-547-3711 or visit our website at https://extension.illinois.edu/fmpt