The Learning Garden is a model example of how a school garden can transform the lives of students and teachers and their community. The Learning Garden is much more than a garden. For the students it is an opportunity to be closer to nature, a place to learn about respecting the environment and taking care of plants and animals. For the teachers it is a place of solace. For the community it is a place of visual beauty. The Learning Garden is a remarkable and unique place that touches something deep in the heart and soul.

The Learning Garden encourages educators to consider the school garden as an extension of the traditional classroom rather than an extracurricular activity. All Learning Garden lessons are tied to common core curriculum standards, encourage inquiry-based learning, provide hands-on experiential learning, and guide the teacher towards the next generation science and math standards. Each lesson also provides an environmental stewardship learning opportunity.

The lessons provide an occasion for learning across multiple subjects including: math, science, health, social studies, art  and language arts. This integrative approach breaks down existing boundaries between disciplines and provides an opportunity for students to apply critical thinking skills and collaboration in a real world situation.

Gena Mathwin

6th Grade Math & Science Teacher

Rio Learning Garden Photo Gallery

Rio Learning Garden Blog


  • students learn focus and patience, cooperation, teamwork and social skills
  • they gain self-confidence and a sense of “capableness” along with new skills and knowledge in food growing — soon-to-be-vital for the 21st century
  • garden-based teaching addresses different learning styles and intelligences; our non-readers can blossom in the garden!
  • achievement scores improve because learning is more relevant and hands-on
  • students become more fit and healthy as they spend more time active in the outdoors and start choosing healthy foods over junk food
  • the schoolyard is diversified and beautified
  • students respect what they feel some ownership in
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