Santa Cruz County Open School Gardens - Saturday, October 12, 2019

Information & Resources

Thanks for being part of Santa Cruz County Open School Gardens Day. Santa Cruz County has some of the longest running school gardens in the nation, maybe the world!

The purpose of this event is to share and build the vibrant school garden culture that your garden brings to your school. Your school community and school garden enthusiasts will be invited to join in on your event or just visit your garden. We expect visitors from out of the region to come and tour the Open School Gardens as well. Visitors from outside of the area are encouraged to note the gardens they plan to visit. You can take a look at our responses thus far. (Note we haven’t publicized this widely yet and expect to get more responses once we share the tour map and schedule, so check-in on the list closer to October 12th)

On October 13th, the day after Open School Gardens Day, Life Lab will be hosting Life Lab’s 40th Anniversary Gala. Life Lab founders will be arriving from across the nation that weekend. Open school gardens will allow these “Life Lab Pioneers” to revisit the gardens they were once a part of. As a local school garden educator you are invited to attend the 40th Anniversary Gala at a discounted rate of $75 (discounted from $135). Use coupon code GalaEdu2019. Visit to learn more.

Support Resources

As a thank you for hosting an Open School Garden we will be providing you with

Your school garden day is yours to plan. Here’s some resources and steps to plan your Open School Garden Day.

Complete Event Planning Form by September 17th

Let us know what you are thinking of hosting on Saturday October 12 by completing this Event Planning form.

The form will ask you for:

  1. A description of your event and garden
  2. Timing of your event
  3. Directions on how to park and access your event
  4. If you’d like a new garden sign and what you’d like it to say
  5. Day of event contact information
  6. Promotional Details - would you like to be on the radio?, your schools social media channels/handles

We will use 1-3 to create an Open School Gardens map and schedule.

School Wide Promotions

Use the following to share about your event to your school community:

  1. Sample Event Announcement Template -  share in your school newsletters/blogs or to your school garden team
  2. Promotional Poster Templates - add your event details and post around your school campus. These are in Google Sheets template. To make an editable copy you can do the following: 1) Open them in Google Drive and “add them to your drive” or 2) Click “File” menu and then “Download” as Microsoft PowerPoint.  Note you may want to remove the giant arrows and only use those for directional purposes on the day of your event, posting at cross roads or on your school site.
  1. 11 x 17 Template
  2. 8.5 x 11 Template

Optional: October is National Farm to School Month, consider listing your event at

Regional Promotions

Open School Gardens Day and Life Lab’s 40th Anniversary will be shared across our greater region. We will be inviting school garden supporters and Life Lab “Pioneers” to come and visit the Open School Gardens

Life Lab will be promoting Open School Gardens via: our statewide school garden e-lists • local radio Public Service Announcements • community radio programs • social media #openschoolgardens • local print & online press/calendars

Event Planning Resources

Your Open School Garden Day can be as simple as just being around greeting visitors while tending your garden or as involved as hosting a school garden community event, tasting, or workday. Browse these resources and ideas for inspiration:

Suggested Kid Event Activity Videos

View the following kid friendly garden and craft activities on our Garden Activities Playlist 

Flower Print Making  •  Paper Pot Seed Sowing  •  Flower Tape Bracelets  •  Root View Cups  •  Flower Bling  •  Seed Saving

Day of Event Considerations

Please have a garden representative present at your garden during your advertised times.

Here are some ideas to keep in mind during your event.

Sample Event Announcement

As part of Life Lab, the national non-profit’s, 40th Anniversary YOUR SCHOOL GARDEN will be participating in Santa Cruz County Open School Gardens on Saturday, October 12 from 00:00 to 00:00.

YOUR SCHOOL GARDEN will be one of 20+ garden programs hosting a school garden event with our local community and beyond. As part of Open School Gardens we will ENTER DETAILS ABOUT YOUR EVENT

In addition to Open School Gardens, Life Lab’s 40th Anniversary will be celebrated at the UCSC Farm Harvest Festival on Sunday, September 29th. Come join in the family fun with the Banana Slug String Band, kids activities and good food. On Sunday, October 13th Life Lab will be concluding their anniversary celebrations with an Anniversary Gala. For more details on all of these events visit

Life Lab, the national non-profit with local roots, was founded in 1979 at Green Acres Elementary in Live Oak. Life Lab provides curricular resources and educator professional development across the country and runs a national network of school garden support organizations. Locally, Life Lab runs garden-based day-camps and field trips at the Blooming Classroom in Watsonville and at the Garden Classroom on the UCSC Farm. Life Lab supports local school gardens through networking, sharing resources and school garden instruction.

More information on Santa Cruz Open School Gardens and Life Lab’s 40th Anniversary Birthday and Gala can be found at