School Gardens

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

School gardens are an important component of our community’s urban agriculture landscape. School gardens can 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.

Victory gardens poster by Wakefield student Renee Whiffen

In 2019, FOUA hosted a discussion on cultivating school garden programs and how children, students, families, teachers, schools, PTAs, and communities can increase outdoor learning and local food production and consumption. This event elevated developing a school gardens strategy as a priority issue for FOUA. 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 shifted its focus to providing direct support to school gardens with the goal of supporting gardens during the school closure and 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 (HFB), Wakefield High School, Thomas Jefferson Middle School (TJMS), 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 info@arlingtonurbanag.org to be added to the school garden network.

Latest News

SustainableScoop’s video podcast: School Victory Gardens

The School Victory Gardens were featured in SustainableScoop’s video podcast! Young leaders run this podcast to showcase how we can have a sustainable future. Watch on YouTube. And you can catch Sustainable Scoop on Arlington Independent Media ...
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/ School Gardens

Resources for Gardeners

Vegetable Gardening & Produce Harvest, Storage & Transport Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) and Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia (MGNV) both offer gardening resources: MGNV – FREE Online Classes (class videos posted to MGNV website) MGNV – Select On-Line References for Kitchen Gardening VCE ...
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FOUA Victory Gardens Mid-Season Report

The last three months have been a whirlwind of activity as we’ve transformed 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 community’s food ...
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Press Release: Victory Gardens at Arlington Public Schools Donating to Local Food Pantries

Community-led initiative has goal to produce 2,500 pounds of fresh vegetables. Victory gardens poster by Wakefield student Renee Whiffen (Arlington, VA) In response to the COVID-19 global health crisis, Arlington Friends of Urban Agriculture (FOUA) is working to support and ...
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How We Can Grow the Next Generation of Urban Farmers

Arlingtonians young and old gathered at Ashlawn Elementary School on April 11th for Arlington Friends of Urban Agriculture’s presentation on “Growing the Next Generation of Urban Farmers.” We had an inspiring discussion on future urban farmers in the area and ...
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Growing the Next Generation of Urban Farmers

Arlington Friends of Urban Agriculture invites you to our next public meeting at Ashlawn Elementary School (5850 8th Road N, Arlington) on Thursday, April 11th, 6:30-8:30pm. The theme of the event is “Growing the Next Generation of Urban Farmers”, an ...
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