The South Carolina Garden-based Learning Network originated in 1994. Initially, participants were connected via a printed newsletter which included a directory for exchange of seeds and plant pen pals, news from school gardens, curriculum ideas, grant opportunities, children’s garden books, and a plethora of human and natural resources. When the network received a grant from the Allen Foundation to establish nutrition gardens at schools throughout the state, for three years school faculty met for workshops on how to initiate, coordinate, and sustain nutrition gardens on campuses.
Today we offer onsite workshops, seminars, and demonstrations on gardening for all ages. We help schools build a rationale for including the outdoors as part of the basic curriculum and for an enriched experience for teacher and student. We assist senior center activity programs in bringing back memories and making new ones with plants. Since gardening is a universal language, we also work with English Language Learner programs to introduce gardening as a scaffold for learning English.
Many companies are including employee gardens as part of the benefits package and wellness program. Corporate gardens boost employee productivity and morale. The teamwork and perseverance needed to garden transfer to the workroom. The team-building task of building bean teepees together eradicates office pecking orders. We can suggest ways to cultivate a corporate garden for your crop of employees to grow on the job.
The South Carolina Garden-Based Learning Network is a research, teaching, and resource network connecting and supporting individuals, schools and communities interested in utilizing gardens as a context for teaching and gardening as an active occupation for lifelong learning.