Garden for the Environment maintains a nationally acclaimed half-acre education and demonstration garden in the Inner Sunset neighborhood of San Francisco. The garden, founded in 1990 and cultivated on land owned by the SFPUC, supports small-scale urban ecological food production, organic gardening, composting, and low water-use landscaping.
More than 700 San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) students visit the garden on educational field trips each year. The field trip program is available to third through fifth grade students and combines a water-focused classroom presentation by SF Environment staff with a trip to the garden.
What to expect on a Garden for the Environment Field Trip
During field trips, students tour the garden, stopping along to way to look at waterwise plants, watch a drip irrigation system in action, search for garden bugs, learn about the orchard, and explore each of the veggies growing in the urban farm. Students also learn about rainwater and greywater systems and feel the heat of a cooking compost pile.
Following the tour, students split up into small groups and rotate through activities where they get hands-on experience in the garden. All groups go through a compost rotation, where they prepare, mix, layer, and sift compost piles. Students also help with planting seeds, mixing compost into a veggie bed, pulling weeds in the orchard, and other basic garden tasks.
After activities, students eat a picnic-style lunch in the garden and explore the plants and creatures of the garden on their own. The day ends with a closing circle where students share what they learned and ask any final questions.
How to Schedule a Field Trip to the Garden
For more information, visit the Garden for the Environment website.