MORE THAN VEGGIES

Gardeneers believes in on-going, full-service garden support so every student has the opportunity to experience the multifaceted benefits of their school garden.

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OUR MISSION
Gardeneers cultivates customized school garden programs to ensure that each space and the students and communities who care for it connect with healthy food and grow to their full potential.

WHAT MAKES US DIFFERENT

Gardeneers implements on-going,
full-service support so every student has the opportunity to experience the multifaceted benefits of their school garden.

Each week, we provide schools with dedicated educators and garden resources to facilitate experiential learning, encourage connections with healthy foods, and ensure each garden’s unique success.

Since 2014, Gardeneers has grown to serve 1,800 students weekly in 26 Chicago area schools in 18 different neighborhoods all over the city. Our goal is to reach 5,000 students by the year 2020.

NEIGHBORHOODS

Albany Park
Ashburn
Auburn Gresham
Austin

Chatham
East Garfield Park
Englewood

Evanston, IL (exurb)
Hyde Park

Lincoln Square
Logan Square
Loop
Near West Side
North Lawndale
Washington Heights
West Englewood
West Pullman

West Town

what we do

SCHOOLS

Chicago Bulls College Prep
DRW College Prep
DRW Noble College Prep
Eliza Chappell Elementary School
Holy Family Ministry School
Ira F Aldridge Elementary School
Jane A. Neil Elementary School
John Hay Community Academy
John Vanderpoel Humanities Academy
KIPP Bloom College Prep
Luke O'Toole Elementary School

Madero Middle School
Marine Leadership Academy at Ames High School
Montessori School of Englewood
North Lawndale College Prep
Oakton Elementary School
Oglesby Elementary School
Rowe Elementary School
Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy
Smyth Elementary School
State of Illinois Child Development Center
TEAM Englewood Community Academy
Thomas J. Higgins Elementary Community Academy
Volta Elementary
Willa Cather Elementary
William H. Ray Elementary School

OUR PROGRAMS

ELEMENTARY/MIDDLE SCHOOL

Each week, garden educators work with students in each of our school gardens focused on our three pillars: Supporting Student Nutrition, Experiencing Nature and Connecting with Communities. Students are involved in the full seed-to-table process: picking out crops, planting seeds, tending to plants and harvesting food to taste, cook or sell at Farm Stands. Our school gardens are living laboratories where students are active participants in their learning. 

HIGH SCHOOL

In partnership with After School Matters, Gardeneers provides immersive urban agricultural programs for teens up to four days per week. Teens work in our vegetable and flower production sites, cultivating business plans, leadership skills and fresh produce for their communities. These teens receive a stipend for their involvement in our high schools programs and learn skills that will help them become the leaders of tomorrow. 

EVENTS IN THE GARDEN

STUDENT-RUN COMMUNITY FARM STANDS
Farm stands connect our school garden programs to the surrounding community. Produce and flowers grown in our school garden programs are sold to parents and neighbors at affordable rates. Our student-run farm stands build community relationships as well as increase access to fresh produce in food desert neighborhoods.

GARDEN-TO-CAFETERIA
Chicago is one of the only cities in the United States with the policies in place to serve school garden produce to students in the cafeteria. Through certification in the CPS Eat What You Grow Garden-to-Cafeteria Manual, Gardeneers is able to harvest and safely serve produce grown in our school gardens to students.

CHEFS IN THE GARDEN SERIES
We partner with some of the most talented chefs in Chicago to lead cooking lessons in our school gardens. Featuring Chefs Paul Virant, Stephanie Izard and Q Ibraheem—chefs lead students in a harvest lesson and work with students to prepare a fresh, seasonal dish using produce grown by the students in their own school garden.

"I am both pleased and impressed with [Gardeneers’] teaching methods which provide new experiences for many of our participants as well as expose them to new ways of thinking in a fun and engaging manner. Gardeneers adds an effective and necessary component to supporting holistic youth development and I am proud to call them a partner."

VICKY CHAMBRAY | RESOURCE COORDINATOR, MADERO MIDDLE SCHOOL