Garden Features/Tools

Accessibility Inventory


  • complete a site analysis
  • learn the elements of an accessible garden design
  • brainstorm ways to make the garden accessible

Central Concepts

  • Gardens should be accessible to everyone.
  • There are specific elements to incorporate into a garden design to make it accessible.


  • pencils
  • rulers or tape measure
  • copies of the site analysis questions
  • clipboard (or pieces of cardboard and paper clips)


Developing Symbols for Your Peace Garden

Right Side Box: 

Ideas for Peace Garden Design Elements:

Water features
Designated spaces (performance/gathering space; quiet space)


Students will:

  • learn that images and objects can convey meaning;
  • conceptualize symbols of peace, and describe how they connect the idea of peace to their symbols;
  • plan to integrate their symbols in a garden/habitat setting;
  • grasp the importance of good communication in promoting peace and conflict resolution;
  • practice good communication skills.


White board, chalkboard, overhead projector, or flip chart for recording discussion points; examples of symbols (optional)

Students Tune into a Music Garden

Exploring Found Sounds and Natural Rhythms

Five years ago, Helen Krofchick’s music students in Lugoff, SC, could be found tapping on old cans and rubbing sticks. Why? Inspired by a visiting artist and video clips of a group called STOMP*, the K-5 classes tried using “found” objects, including things from the environment, to create and perform unique sounds and rhythms. After loads of inside practice, they wondered what their inventive instruments would sound like if they played them in the schoolyard.

Make Your Own Hummingbird Feeder

Overview: Based on what they know about hummingbirds, students will design and create their own feeder using everyday materials.

Subject Areas: science, visual arts, math

Key Concepts: physical adaptations

Skills: problem solving, creative thinking, teamwork/cooperative learning, artistic expression, observation, investigation

Location: indoors and outdoors

School Gardens are for Everyone

Creating Accessible School Gardens and Garden Activities

Do you remember watching butterflies floating through the garden when you were a child, and your amazement at their skill and grace?

Prehistoric Plants

Create a Garden Fit for a Dinosaur!
Right Side Box: 

Dinosaur Dimensions

Lizards weren't the only things that grew to huge sizes during the Mesozoic Era -- some ancient horsetails were 30 feet tall! Even today, the cones of some cycads, which emerged during the Jurassic Period, can reach three feet in length and 95 pounds!


A museum diorama shows both plant and animal elements of the dinosaur age.

Pondering Plant Coverups

Strrrrretching the Growing Season.

For many school gardeners, the season is all too short. In much of the country, just as the danger of spring frost is over and gardens are beginning to thrive, school lets out for the year. On the other end, fall frosts limit the time students can explore their garden oasis. In warmer climes, intense heat and drought are limiting factors.

Growing UP (and around, and down...)

Exploring Plant Growth with Garden Structures

One characteristic that distinguishes plants from animals is mobility. But just because plants don't walk, fly, or swim doesn't mean they don't move! Keen garden observers see that, in addition to stretching their stems and leaves upward and outward, sunflowers turn to face the sun, pea tendrils curl around stakes to keep vines erect, and morning glory stems wrap themselves snake-like around the uprights of a trellis.

2006 Mantis Award Winners

Changing the World One Garden at a Time

The National Gardening Association and Mantis partner annually to select dedicated youth and community gardens for the Mantis Award. Applications are welcomed from all nonprofit groups and award recipients receive their own Mantis tiller/cultivator. In 2006 Mantis generously awarded 25 garden programs. Here are inspiring stories from a few of these deserving programs.

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Copyright © 1999-2012 National Gardening Association     | &      |     Created on 03/15/99, 

Last updated on 04/23/2014
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