Schoolyard Roots currently works in 12 elementary schools across Tuscaloosa County, Alabama. Each year we expand our program to 2-3 new K-5 schools. Tuscaloosa-area schools, read below to find out how to get our program at your school.  

Not in Tuscaloosa? We still want to support you!

Click here to see our curriculum and resources for helping you set up a teaching garden that works for your school.  

Apply for the Gardens 2 Schools program


How it works 

Schoolyard Roots partners with K-5 educators to bring learning to life in outdoor classrooms. We provide elementary schools with a teaching garden, garden materials, curriculum, and professional development for teachers. Lessons come directly from our standards-based Alabama School Gardens curriculum, and are hands-on and food-based. 



Year 1 

During the first year, your school will have maximum on-site support from Schoolyard Roots instructors, who model garden classroom management and co-lead lessons with teachers. Over the course of the year, your teachers transition into leading lessons and coordinating garden maintenance.   

Throughout the program, every K-5 student in your school gets to experience a lesson in the garden every other week. From Tuesday – Friday, Schoolyard Roots instructors will be at your school teaching alongside teachers during garden lessons. Teachers at your school will attend an initial Summer Institute training, and will receive three professional developments during the school year. 


Year 2 


During the second year, your school will continue to have on-site support as your teachers lead garden lessons and maintain the garden on their own. Schoolyard Roots instructors are available to assist with lessons, as needed. Your teachers will undergo three professional developments through the year.  



Year 3 & beyond 

During the third year, your school will operate the garden independently, without on-site assistance. Schoolyard Roots educational staff will still be available to lead professional development, as requested. Even after you transition to operating your garden independently, Schoolyard Roots staff will keep providing curriculum support and trainings, as requested.  

Want to learn more?

Read our Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility Requirements 

In order to join the Gardens 2 Schools program, your school must meet the following requirements: 

  • In the Tuscaloosa, Alabama area: Your school must be a K-5 public or private city or county school in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama. If you’re outside of Tuscaloosa County, we still want to support your school garden. In fact, we created the Alabama School Garden Curriculum with you in mind! Check it out here. 


  •  Garden/outdoor classroom space:  You must have a relatively flat outdoor space about 30’ x 40’ that is near an exit and gets at least 6 hours of sunlight.


  • Principal and school community who are committed to our program: Your principal must demonstrate enthusiasm and commitment to the program by submitting the application and supporting instruction that happens in the garden classroom. Your school must be prepared to sustain the cost of seeds and garden supplies after Year 2, which can be offset by produce sales.  


  • Parents and teachers who are committed to our program: At each school in our Gardens 2 Schools program, we rely on a Garden Committee, who make it their mission to make the garden a success! This passionate group of parents and teachers meets monthly or bi-monthly to coordinate seed purchases and oversee garden maintenance. 


How to Apply 

We are now accepting program inquiries for the 2018–2019 school year.

Click here to drop us a line.