Willow Glen Elementary Garden

Welcome! The garden offers an enriching, hands-on environment where teachers and volunteers help students learn about nature. The school garden is a PTA program and maintained by parent volunteers.

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. 

What is growing in the Willow Glen Elementary Garden?

In the main planting area, we have 8 double-sized raised beds, 1 standard sized bed and 4 more smaller beds. 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. There are picnic tables that classes can use to work on projects in this part of the garden. 

On the grassy side of the garden, there is a small lawn, an outdoor classroom with seating, and a native garden with redwood understory plants that is used for hands-on, place-based learning. We are planning on expanding the native garden with chaparral plantings this fall during the October garden event. There is also a weather station for science classes. 

Classroom Use

With the support of the PTA, each class will have five 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. This year, Katie will also be leading a garden club on Fridays during lunchtime for 4th and 5th graders with the help of parent volunteers. 

Teachers are encouraged to bring their classes to the garden for learning and exploration beyond the science program. Parents are encouraged to check with their teachers to see if they are interested in having 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!

Join the Garden Team!

The garden team meets every month to tend the garden, assist with maintenance and work on new projects. Garden Events are once a month, either on Saturday morning (10-1) or Sunday afternoon (1-4), depending on the season. They are drop-in events, no advanced sign-up necessary. Announcements are sent to the school with Konstella. 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, information about garden beds and plant care, and suggested lesson plans for garden activities. Please contact the garden organizers with questions or ideas at garden@wgepta.org.