Willow Glen Elementary Garden

Welcome!

The Willow Glen Elementary Garden is on Lincoln Avenue on the east side of campus. Students and teachers generally access the garden from the kinder yard, but there is also a maintenance gate on Lincoln Avenue that can be opened for deliveries and garden events. The garden offers an enriching, hands-on environment where teachers and volunteers help students learn about nature.

Classroom Use

With the support of the PTA, each class will have four garden lessons with Settle Science, a hands-on program developed with California Common Core and Next Generation Science standards to offer enriching, project-based learning. The WGE Garden curriculum allows students to explore engineering in the garden, learn about native plants and habitats, taste different fruits and vegetables, explore how different parts of a plant work together, and understand what plants need to survive. 

Teachers are encouraged to bring their classes to the garden for learning and exploration beyond the science program. Some teachers may be interested in having parent volunteers help with extra garden activities. Garden classroom volunteers need to have completed the volunteer application process and schedule time with their teacher to take classes into the garden. The garden coordinators are happy to support parents with ideas, lessons, activities and supplies! 

What is growing in the Willow Glen Elementary Garden?

In the main garden area, we have 8 double-sized raised beds and five more smaller beds of different sizes. The plantings include several perennial garden beds: 

  • Sensory bed with herbs and flowers
  • Strawberry bed with alpine and conventional fruits
  • Pollinator bed with native flowers for butterflies & hummingbirds
  • Milkweed bed for monarch caterpillars

The other beds are dedicated to annual plantings, such as marigolds for Dia de los Muertos, and seasonal vegetables. There are also fruit trees, including lemons, apples, peaches and figs. 

On the dry side of the garden, there is a grassy gathering space for classes and a selection of native plants, such as Western redbud trees and coffeeberry. We are hoping to add more native habitat plantings to this part of the garden this winter.

The PTA also has a plan to upgrade the garden space by adding a circle seating area when classes can gather and repaving the pathways between the beds with decomposed granite this spring. 

Join the Garden Team!

The garden team meets every month to tend the garden, assist with maintenance and work on new projects. Garden Days are usually the first or second Saturday of the month from 10 am- 1 pm, overlapping with the Willow Glen Farmers Market. Activity sign-ups are posted on the WGE Konstella app, but drop-in help is always welcome. Parents, teachers and children are all encouraged to come help out! 

If you are interested in organizing a new project to improve the garden, or having a group volunteer in our garden (such as a girl scout or boy scout troop, or a high school community service project) please reach out to the garden committee! 

To find out more: 

Join the WGE PTA Garden Committee on Konstella! We use this app to communicate garden plans and events. On the main page for the committee, you can find a link to the WGE Garden Documents, a shared drive with the proposed plans for the year, a daily calendar for scheduling classroom time in the garden, information about garden beds and plant care, and suggested lesson plans for garden activities. Also feel free to contact the garden organizers with questions or ideas at garden@wgepta.org.