Austin School Gardens
Click here to see a map of school gardens in Austin.
Redeemer Lutheran Nature Gardens
"In order for children to care about the environment, they must experience nature. What better place than on the school playground?"
At Redeemer Lutheran School, an acre of gardens and nature areas provides hands‐on experiences
which guide children to be good stewards of our natural blessings. To support our outdoor program, students attend the Rainbow Room, our environmental education classroom for 375 preschool to 5th grade children. Four weekly afterschool garden clubs serve 60 children ages 3 to 12. Seventeen Eagle scouts have obtained their rank by completing Nature Gardens projects.
Our program was awarded a 2006 SeaWorld Environmental Excellence Award, the 2004 Junior Master Gardener Group of the Year, designated a Schoolyard Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation, and a Best of Texas Backyard Habitat. Our environmental education teacher received the 2008 John Arhns award for Environmental Education from Austin Children in Nature, and the 2005 Junior Master Gardener Teacher of the Year award. The Nature Gardens program is supported by the generous Redeemer Church and School volunteers and funds from Dell, IBM, Best Buy, the National Gardening Association, Thrivant for Lutherans, the Community Hospital Foundation and other sources.
Our school has been the focus of the longest study of the importance of play and developmentally appropriate playgrounds in the United States: the University of Texas Play and Playground Research Project. Creator of the project, Dr. Joe Frost, the Parker Centennial Professor Emeritus of the University of Texas at Austin is studying our outdoor learning environment that combines play and nature and is fully integrated into the school curriculum.
Contact Redeemer Lutheran School:
1500 Anderson Lane
Austin, TX 78757
( view map )
Danna Keyburn, teacher
Our Savior Lutheran School Gardens
"Our gardens are a living classroom for all of our students."
The Second through Fifth Graders at Our Savior Lutheran began planting gardens in the fall of 2008. The students began by planting an apple tree and tending to its needs. That was followed by two herb gardens planted in tractor tires and two vegetable and flower gardens.
First crops included giant sunflowers, tri-colored beans, miniature pumpkins, and popcorn! That was followed by lettuce, swiss chard, green peppers and tomatoes.
A highlight of our first year was adding worms to our garden, baking herb bread and harvesting sunflower seeds.
This school year we have planted canary melons and pumpkins. We have also added butterfly attracting flowers around our bird house. Hummingbirds have enjoyed our feeders and bees and butterflies are busy pollinating our plants.
We plan to package sunflower, melon, and marigold seeds, to sell to parents and church members. The students will label the envelopes with growing instructions and illustrate the packages. During our Open House, the students offered “grow cards” that they made from recycled paper and seeds from our garden.
Our gardens are a living classroom for all of our students.
Contact Our Savior Lutheran School:
1513 E. Yager Lane
Austin, Texas 78753
( view map )
Austin Discovery School (ADS)
"Home to the innovative and award winning Discoveries in Gardening and Science (DiGS) Program."
All of the Kindergarten through 6th grade students, with help from their families and community partners, installed and maintain the multiple wildlife gardens, 3 vegetable gardens, butterfly labyrinth, bird feeder garden, rain garden, and wildlife pond.
The school’s overarching philosophy of stewardship is achieved by incorporating these features into every classroom. The gardens are purposefully integrated into the play space. This allows the students to explore the gardens during an unstructured time, so they are ready to investigate the space during class time.
The ADS students play and work in their gardens, cook and eat the produce they grow, and discover their individual connection to the natural world.
Contact Austin Discovery School:
TA Brown Elementary School Garden
"The Gardening Dragons Rock and Roll"
Two afternoons a week, after school, a group of students who have named themselves the Gardening Dragons are busy digging, planting, weeding, watering, or reaping the produce they’ve raised in the TA Brown Elementary School Garden. These kindergarteners through second graders especially enjoy competing to see who can pull the weed with the biggest roots, searching for worms and moving them to safety before digging, starting plants from seed in homemade paper pots and later transplanting them into the earth, getting dirty, and most of all … watching their garden GROW!
The Gardening Dragons have grown broccoli, lemon basil, lemon thyme, parsley, dill weed, red lettuce, Asian greens, arugula, and pak choi (Chinese cabbage); and for the coming season they will plant carrots, turnips, mesclun mix, kale, southern peas, spinach, and arugula. They’ve discovered worms, butterflies, and an occasional grub worm (YUCK!), and have used recycled materials to build a scarecrow to keep away pesky birds. To motivate themselves before they work, the Gardening Dragons shout “Ready to Rock?!? LET’S ROLL!!!”
The Gardening Dragons are proud to have earned the designation of registered Junior Master Gardeners. All are participants in the CATS Club Afterschool Program and are supervised and taught by a volunteer instructor from the Travis County 4H Capital AmeriCorps Program.
Contact TA Brown Elementary School
CATS Club Program Coordinator
505 West Anderson Lane
Austin, TX 78752-1194