School Gardens

Vision: Sustainable and equitable support of school garden programs across Arlington County.

Victory gardens poster by Wakefield student Renee Whiffen

School gardens are an important component of our community’s urban agriculture landscape. School gardens provide teaching opportunities for students, hands-on learning experiences, nutritious produce for consumption in classrooms and lunchrooms, and provide much needed fresh produce to school community families and local food pantries. School garden programs develop students' appreciation of “where their food comes from” and develop life-long skills they can use to grow their own food.

In 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that led to the closure of schools and a dramatic increase in families experiencing economic hardship and food insecurity, FOUA provided direct support to four school gardens during the school closure with the goal of increasing production to donate fresh produce to local food pantries. FOUA worked in partnership with school garden coordinators, Master Gardeners and Virginia Cooperative Extension to transform four classroom instruction gardens at Hoffman-Boston Elementary, Wakefield High School, Thomas Jefferson Middle School, and Tuckahoe Elementary into scalable ‘urban farm’ sites to support our Arlington community’s food insecure neighbors. Over 1,588 pounds of fresh produce from these 2020 Victory Garden sites were distributed to food pantries throughout the County. Read more: FOUA Victory Garden 2020 Final Report.

2021 began with the official transfer of the Plot Against Hunger program to FOUA from AFAC, and the gradual reopening of schools. FOUA’s efforts with school gardens shifted to more long-term goals and away from the urgent and immediate needs presented during the pandemic. FOUA is working in partnership with Virginia Cooperative Extension, Master Gardeners, Marymount University, and the Arlington Living Schoolyards Initiative to provide technical assistance and other support, and to build a network of school garden programs to cultivate community, peer to peer connections, and opportunity for long-term strategic planning.

If you are a school garden coordinator or connected to a school garden program, please send an email to schoolgardens@arlingtonurbanag.org to be added to the School Garden Network. FOUA hosts monthly online meetings on the 3rd Wednesday. If you would like to join the meetings, fill out this form. Check out 2022 call schedule.

Latest News

2022 Garden Talks

Garden talks for May and June are listed below. Summer dates will be listed shortly. All talks are free and are sponsored by Friends of Urban Agriculture and Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia. Garden Talks are at the Plot Against ...
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2022 Spring Garden Kickoff: Looking ahead to summer

May 21, 2022, Arlington Central Library, 1015 N. Quincy St., Arlington, VA COVID cautions – Mask requested indoors and whenever within 6 feet of others. Auditorium has air purification systems. Register form below.  9:45 am   Doors open – get ...
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Cure Winter Cabin Fever by Planting Peas & Lettuce

Blog by Kirsten Ann Conrad, Agriculture Natural Resource Extension Agent, Virginia Cooperative Extension, and FOUA Board Member Peas If you are tired of winter and hunger for spring, try planting peas as soon as the soil dries and the soil ...
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2022 Schedule for School Garden Monthly Calls

2022 FOUA-VCE Planning Calendar Monthly Garden Coordinator Zoom Calls Proposed Topics (3rd Wednesday each month) If you would like to join the meetings, fill out this form. Questions? Email schoolgardens@arlingtonurbanag.org. EVERY WEDNESDAY:   Starting next week, Wednesday, May 4, and continuing ...
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/ School Gardens

FOUA Annual Meeting: Gardens Grow Community

We invite you to our 2021 Annual Meeting, Wednesday, December 15 7:00pm – 8:30pm online. Our theme this year is “Gardens Grow Community.” As we all know, gardens grow more than vegetables. They build a sense of community, offer a ...
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October Urban Agriculture Month 2021

October Urban Agriculture Month 2021 will be a celebration of the energy and dedication of all who volunteer or work to advance urban agriculture in Arlington! Schedule of Events Oct 2: FOUA Urban Ag Appreciation Day To launch October Urban Ag ...
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