What We Do

Building School Gardens

Building School Gardens


Building School Gardens installs gardens at Chicago public schools to achieve the following purposes:

  • Improving school campuses as vital open space for Chicago residents
  • Developing a curriculum connection between the classroom and the garden
  • Utilizing art as a part of the garden
  • Encouraging students in creating, installing, and maintaining the garden

Based on each school's curricular interests, Openlands works with garden teams to identify the goals and elements of every garden, hires subcontractors to carry out the designs and structural elements, and provides all of the materials and oversight for installation. Elements of the customized gardens may include:

  • Benches for outdoor classroom seating for any subject
  • Raised vegetable beds for growing food and healthy eating
  • Native plantings to study insect and animal habitats, as well as the ecological history of Chicago
  • Ornamental gardens with ABC, color, or literature-inspired themes

For more information, please contact schools@openlands.org.

Download the Application: Building School Gardens Application

Download the Manual: Building School Gardens Program Manual

BMO Harris Bank is the Principal Sponsor of Building School Gardens.

BMO Harris Bank

Vital support for this program is also generously provided by Peoples Gas.  


Location: Chicago, Illinois
Owner & land manager: Chicago Public Schools



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