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 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

Students Call for Volunteers for School Gardens

Yorktown High School student Nate Hankins started a school garden with the help of other students to grow fresh vegetables for local food pantries through the Plot Against Hunger program. The Yorktown High School garden is one of several gardens ...

School Garden Curriculum Resources

Resources compiled by Kyra Walker, Resource Teacher, Arlington Career Center, as her 2021 Summer Teacher Fellowship project. These resources were curated to assist garden club sponsors in finding resources to help begin and sustain clubs throughout Arlington County Public Schools ...

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How to Start a School Garden

School gardens are a wonderful part of a school community, and have so many benefits in addition to beautification and environmental education. School gardens help children connect with nature, feel comfortable in the outdoors, stay active and develop healthier eating ...

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Benefits of School Gardens

School gardens help children learn. Gardening is the study of life. The simple act of caring for living soil and plants gives children a foundation for understanding the principles of birth, growth, maturity, death, competition, cooperation and many other lessons ...

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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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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 ...