School Garden Policy

Jen Sopoci

YCS School Garden Coordinator

Email: jsopoci8@ycschools.us

School Garden Policy for YCS

For best results when planting on school properties, planning should begin well before the first sod is turned. There is nothing difficult about planting or even building a garden, however, the real challenge is planting and building something that is used to its full potential and is maintained.

Therefore, planting projects must be approved through the district before planting begins. To ensure sustainability, application approval by the district and principal at your school is necessary. Guidelines for this application are as follows:

1) Wide support for planting project

  • Identify someone committed to driving the process of the project within the school community

  • Form a core group of supporters within the school (principal, teachers, PTO, parents)

2) With core group establish yearly goals and objectives plan

  • What is the purpose of the planting project?

  • How will it enhance curriculum and learning opportunities?

  • How will students be involved in the project?

  • How will you celebrate your successes?

3) Consider planting location

  • Is it suitable for what is being planted?

    • Determine soil type and amendments necessary

    • Must be aesthetically pleasing (ideally no raised beds near the entrance of the school)

4) Maintenance plan

  • How will the plantings be watered/weeded/harvested? (relying on the district maintenance crew is not feasible)

5) Resources / Funding

  • Need help filling out the application? Contact Jen Sopoci, YCS School Garden Coordinator

  • Growing Hope in Ypsilanti (tool rental, seedlings/seeds, fiduciary partnerships)

  • Apply for grants, start small, and stage the project as necessary. Contact Jen Sopoci for assistance with a grant for your school.

6) Curriculum integration

Link to school garden policy (PDF)