UP Learning Garden

UP Learning Garden Logo  






The UP Learning Garden focuses on raising edible crops, allowing students to learn about the environment, nutrition and their connection to the natural world. Grade level curriculum is connected to the garden with lessons deeply rooted in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math). The UP Learning Garden aims to build community, collaboration, responsibility, empowerment and school pride.


This year, the UP Learning Garden launched GROW (Getting Responsible for Our World) a new initiative to increase students environmental and sustainability awareness.  Follow along with us on instagram @GrowWithUP


How are students be involved in our garden?

The garden is a shared community where students attend monthly lessons led by Farmer Kim, classroom teachers, and garden volunteers. The students plant, tend and harvest throughout the year. Crops are donated to North Texas Food Bank as well as incorporated into the school cafeteria.


In addition, our outdoor learning classroom is available to all UP teachers at all times.  We encourage all educators to use the space creatively throughout the day.


UP Learning Garden Behavior Goals

  • Respect the plants, animals, non-living things, and each other.
  • Walk on the paths.
  • Ask before using any tool; use tools properly. 
  • Ask before picking or harvesting anything from the garden.
  • Enjoy observing, learning and working in our garden.

UP Learning Garden in Application

  • Enhance Curricular and Learning Experiences
    • Engage with students in a dynamic  setting that supports the  integration of the learning garden in every core discipline
    • Provide environmentally based education 
    • Realize student gains in standardized test scores as well as science, language arts, math and social studies. (State Education and Environmental Roundtable Report)
  • Interact With Nature Outdoors
    • Increase time with nature and foster the desire to be outdoors for exploration and interacting with nature
    • Increase student understanding of ecology, interconnections in nature, and their responsibility to protect and care for their environment (Mayer-Smith, Bartosh & Peterat 2007)
  • Promote Physical and Emotional Health
    • Increase in students’ nutrition knowledge as well as their preferences for vegetables. (Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Vol. 102) 
    • Exposure to nature can reduce symptoms of ADHD and can improve cognitive abilities and negative stresses and depression. (Last Child in the Woods)
    • Continue To Implement Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills Standards and Best Practices for Teaching and Learning
  • Appeal of the Garden to Everyone—as a Life Skill acquired through First-Hand Experience.
    • Time in the garden lends itself to endless possibilities
    • Learn about the life cycles of plants from planting to harvest
    • Foster interest in gardening as a source of food production and enjoyment
  • Foster Partnerships within and among Teachers, Parents, School Volunteers, and Community Members.
    • UP PTA, DADS Club
    • Assist Our Students in Earning JMG and Golden Ray Certifications, as appropriate for their grade level
  • Campus and Grounds Beautification
    • Environmental awareness
  • Children will experience the whole cycle of plant life: seed-seedling-mature plant-harvest-compost excess plant material
  • Children will understand where food comes from and the conditions it takes to grow it
  • Children will develop confidence and competence about growing food themselves
  • Children will eagerly sample and eat what they have grown - healthy food will not be a mystery to them. This positively impacts nutrition.
Thank You to our Community Partners in the UP Learning Garden:
  • Classroom teachers and administrators
  • Parent volunteers and coordinators
  • Lawns of Dallas
  • Nicolson Hardee
  • University Park PTA and DADS Club
And many thanks to Farmer Kim, our fearless leader!  Can you dig it?