School Gardens

The School Garden Initiative responds to the need for hands-on educational opportunities in schools, a gardening and nutrition connection for children and locally grown food for the community.

During the summer months, the gardens at Hunter, Woodriver and Pearl Creak Elementary Schools offer a range of summer programs for young children, teens and young adults. Program offerings vary each year. During the spring and fall, Calypso supports teachers in using the gardens as an extension of their classroom.

As we transition into a new phase of handling covid in our community, we plan to resume some school garden summer programs for youth in 2022. Here's what will be happening this summer:
Community Roots Program

Open to ages 16-24
May-August, 2022

Community Roots is a new leadership training program with employment, community engagement and food justice at its core. The program is centered in the Hunter School Garden.

Garden Leaders in the program learn how to grow food for their community, gain work experience for their resumes, develop strong community connections, and earn a living while learning valuable skills!

Now accepting applications for 2022!

Hunter Garden Mini-Camp

Ages 5-11 (or entering K-6th grade in Fall 2022)
August 1-4, 2022

This camp is all about fun, hands-on learning in the Hunter School Garden! Campers will use all their senses to investigate the many wonders of the garden, from tasting fresh garden veggies, to exploring plants and insects, to making garden-inspired art, and so much more!

Pearl Creek Sprout Camp

Ages 6-11 (or entering 1st-6th grade in Fall 2022)
June 13-17, 2022

In this early season Garden Camp, campers will explore the Pearl Creek Elementary School Garden through a wide range of hands-on activities! They'll learn all about growing food by planting seeds, caring for the plants, playing games, making new friends, and having fun!

Pearl Creek Harvest Camp

Ages 6-11 (or entering 1st-6th grade in Fall 2022)
July 25-29, 2022

This Garden Camp at the Pearl Creek Elementary School Garden will be a fun week of gardening, hands-on activities and fresh vegetable snacking! The garden will be at its peak and campers will have a blast harvesting fresh veggies, cooking from the garden, and more!


EATinG Program

The EATinG Program is currently on hold.

The EATinG Program (Engaging Alaskan Teens in Gardening) is a free summer program for youth aged 11-16.  Student gardeners in the program are empowered to grow their own food through hands-on experience in the school gardens, learning the ins and outs of growing their own food, gain basic business skills through weekly markets, and build important life skills by working with a team of new friends!

During the month-long program, student gardeners experience a full range of gardening activities, including: bed preparation, seeding, transplanting, weeding, planting, harvesting and running a weekly Farm Stand. Student gardeners also cook and eat vegetables in the garden! Together with an adult EATinG Leader, student gardeners work as a team to care for the school garden, building valuable skills like positive communication, teamwork and reliability. Student gardeners earn Veggie Bucks each week to exchange for fresh veggies from the Farm Stand and other Calypso markets over the summer! This is a unique opportunity for preteens and teens to gain confidence, skills and new friends through the dynamic Alaskan gardening season!