School Gardens In West Contra Costa Unified School District
Did you know that school gardens are alive and well in our district? Yes, it is true. Our district boasts over 30 working school gardens at a wide range of sites. From the hills to the flat lands and from El Cerrito to Hercules, our elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, alternative education schools, charter schools, and adult schools have garden programs.
These sites provide a diverse array of services to the communities they serve. Some of these gardens are used as STEM laboratories, and others teach students, families, and staff about the pleasure that can be found in eating healthy. Other programs include art education, yoga instruction, animal husbandry, and much more.
As you can imagine, these gardens are a labor of love, and it takes many hands to keep them running. This help comes from many places. Teachers, students, and families volunteer many hours to keep these sites going. The district grounds crew helps with all sorts of maintenance from bringing in mulch to weed-wacking and offering advice. Urban Tilth, a local non-profit that focuses on sustainable urban agriculture and food justice, provides farming wisdom and staffing for a couple of sites. And finally, West County DIGS (Developing Instructional Gardens in Schools) provides professional development, gardening resources, grants, and networking opportunities for the folks who make these gardens work.
At West County DIGS, our mission is simple: We support school gardens in West Contra Costa County by providing resources, advocacy, and partnerships. We build our community's resilience by cultivating academic achievement, wellness, and sustainable practices.
If you are interested in learning more about West County DIGS and the garden programs it supports, please check out our website at: