The School Gardeners' Southwest Desert Almanac

A Garden-Based Science Teaching Network

Launched February 5-7, 2020

Explore how educators from 5 southwestern states with cold & warm deserts are advancing an ecoregion almanac for garden-based science teaching.

Touring Gardens across Ecoregions

Tour school gardening from coast to coast, including the southwest ecoregion and Manzo Elementary School


Students from 7 schools share how they engage in hands-on learning, illuminating many ways that unique and diverse school gardening communities grow healthy food for themselves and their communities while also becoming caretakers of their local environments .
Visit growingschoolgardens.org/ to explore more.

Learning About Culture and Sustainable Harvesting of Native Plants

Conference participants refined, expanded and published a demonstration lesson featured at the conference in the prestigious national science education journal for educators, Science & Children. Click here to read the article.

Learning About Culture and Sustainable Harvesting of Native Plants: Garden-based teaching can foster appreciation of indigenous knowledge.

Eileen Merritt, Virginia Polytechnic and State UniversityAlexander Peterson, University of ArizonaStacy Evans, Tucson Unified School DistrictSallie Marston, University of ArizonaSteve Zuiker, Arizona State University

Growing garden-based learning: mapping practical and theoretical work through design

Conference participants also published a paper about the role of design in school garden research in Environmental Education Research. Click here to read the article.

Growing garden-based learning: mapping practical and theoretical work through design

Steve Zuiker & Amanda Riske, Arizona State University

See what else is news

Check out what else has made the southwest desert ecoregional school garden news!

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What is the School Gardeners’ Southwest Desert Almanac?

The School Gardeners’ Southwest Desert Almanac a network of educators concentrating on the common opportunities and challenges related to garden-based science teaching in one US ecoregion: the southwest warm and cold deserts. With generous support from National Science Foundation, the almanac educator network is exploring how an ecoregional approach to garden-based science teaching (GBST).

This website provides a platform for supporting, sustaining, and spreading garden-based science teaching across the ecoregion in four ways. An ecoregion network of teachers, researchers, and wide-ranging professionals are collaboratively curating resources specific to the region on a variety of topics; producing case studies of GBST, writing papers that characterize opportunities and challenges of GBST for practitioners, researchers, policymakers, and designers, and mapping out underlying patterns and principles that cut across GBST ecoregion programs.

Using the idea of an almanac as both process for and product of networked learning, an ecoregion approach seeks to establish a democratic foundation for equity and excellence in science education.

The southwest desert ecoregion educator network concentrates on cold and warm deserts in the United States, which encompass one of several North American ecoregions defined in this US EPA ecoregion map.

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