Bringing Education to Life
The Garden School Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit whose mission is to provide meaningful education for underserved youth in Los Angeles through garden-based learning in outdoor living classrooms. We work with Title 1 schools to sustainably implement our curriculum of experiential standards-based lessons in all academic subjects, as well as cooking and nutrition, to strengthen the connection between education, health, environmental awareness, and thriving communities.
Since 2005, we’ve been turning asphalt into ecosystems, working to create a healthy, educated and aware future generation that cares for their community, their bodies and for the earth. We currently serve at 6 elementary schools and one high school throughout Los Angeles, reaching over 2,500 students and their families. Our Seed to Table program brings to life what’s taught in the classroom and gives children the tools they need to lead healthy, fulfilling lives.
From Asphalt to Ecosystem
Growing a School Garden

The Garden School Foundation was founded in 2005, when a coalition of educators, community organizations, and concerned citizens sought to address the connection between poverty, lack of access to fresh/healthy food, and academic performance. At our pilot school, 24th Street Elementary, we transformed the paved lot into our flagship 1.5 acre garden classroom. It is the most developed and utilized elementary school garden in Los Angeles, containing an outdoor kitchen and classroom, 30 raised vegetable beds, an orchard with over 60 fruit trees, a comprehensive compost demonstration site, a food production garden, a butterfly garden, a cut flower garden, a craft garden, a Latino Heritage Garden, and an additional

¼ acre of revitalized Native California Woodland. It is here that we have developed and began teaching our unique Seed to Table curriculum to 600 children in South Los Angeles.

We would like to thank a few of the many early contributors that made this work possible: Nancy Goslee Power, the 24th Street Block Club, district council members Martin Ludlow and Herb Wesson, the Neighborhood Council, the Hancock Park Garden Club, Pasadena Garden Club and Diggers garden club, the West Adams Heritage Assn. and La Brea Bakery, Inc.

Explore our schools
We are a hive of busy bees!
We implement our Seed to Table
Program at 6 schools and counting.
24th Street and Crown Prep Academy
Historic West Adams

Our 24th Street Elementary garden is the flagship site where Garden School Foundation established its roots. Gardens on this site span over an acre and a half and include over 60 fruit trees, 35 productive vegetable beds, an expansive native garden, and a circle garden in the middle of the elementary school’s campus. 24th Street Elementary has been partnered with Garden School Foundation since 2005 and teaches cooking and gardening classes to 650 children in our outdoor classroom. Monthly Community Garden Days bring together families, teachers, students, and many outside community members who volunteer their time to keep our gardens growing and end the day enjoying a cooking or garden demonstration along with a tasty lunch. Our garden would not exist without the ongoing support of our dedicated volunteers and interns, in addition to the support from students’ families and school administration. To learn more please come take a garden tour, volunteer in our classes, and learn a few new garden tricks!

In 2013 Garden School also started working with the 5th and 6th grade students from Crown Prep Academy. Crown Prep is a college preparatory charter school that shares a campus with 24th Street Elementary School. We look forward to growing our relationship with Crown Prep over the years as we work to develop a junior high curriculum.

Grand View Elementary
Mar Vista

Garden School has been working with Grand View Boulevard Elementary School’s 650 students since the Fall of 2013. During this time we have built two new garden spaces for the students to enjoy. Our supportive teachers, administrators, parents, and community volunteers have helped GSF transform the garden into a space where students can thrive learning about growing food and enjoying meals together. Each day we serve students of all backgrounds, languages, ages, all abilities and proudly support a successful integration program of students with special needs. The school also has a dedicated kitchen classroom where students can harvest right outside its doors to cook some of the freshest produce in urban LA, picked just ten steps from their cutting boards. Together, Garden School and Grand View partner with the Mar Vista Farmer’s Market during the school year to host a monthly booth where students create healthy smoothie recipes they make on a bicycle blender for customers in the market.

Wilshire Crest Elementary
Miracle Mile

Wilshire Crest Elementary School is located in the central Los Angeles, and currently serves 230 students. The school’s gardens were first conceived by a passionate group of committed parents and teachers in 2006, breaking ground on the first garden in 2009. This garden was so well received that a few years later the community came together to build a much larger ¼ acre learning garden. This garden is now the heart of Garden School Foundation’s Seed to Table programming on this campus, which began in the spring of 2013. Over the past three years, students have had a unique opportunity to engage in the garden, not only during their classes but also before school and during two recesses each day. The gardens are an important place where students see how their food grows and engage in the wonders of a sustainable ecosystem, often encountering butterflies and rollie pollies for the first time. Wilshire Crest Elementary School’s gardens have a special focus in water sustainability and conservation using ollas, hugelkultur and drip irrigation to water the garden.

Rockdale Elementary
Eagle Rock

Rockdale Elementary is an ARTS magnet school in Eagle Rock, Los Angeles and was rated as a top 10 ARTS magnets in LA Unified this year! Proudly, Rockdale strives to cultivate student’s scholarly and creative capabilities in an intellectually challenging and safe environment. Rockdale serves 350 students from pre-k through 6th grade. The garden was built in 2005 by the school, community, and with special help from Master Gardeners, Eileen Hatrick and Anne Elder. They partnered with GSF in the fall of 2013 to bring much needed programming to their growing gardens.

Jackson STEM Dual Language Magnet Academy

Andrew Jackson Elementary is a STEM magnet and dual language school in Altadena that encourages students to create a love of learning through exploration, critical thinking, problemsolving, collaboration and discovery. Jackson serves 520 students from pre-k through 5th grade. The Jackson Community came together in 2012 to build the Community Pride Garden, an educational tool for the school and community. GSF partnered with Jackson in the fall of 2013 and the garden has become a source of excitement, learning, and pride in the Jackson community. Parent and community volunteers are a big part of why the Jackson Community Pride Garden flourishes and is constantly evolving to become an even better space for the students.

A culture of nurturing and excellence
We count ourselves extremely lucky to work alongside the quality of people who make up the GSF community. Our team is driven, passionate, and shares a genuine love
for connecting children to the natural world. By bringing food systems to life for young minds, we hope to plant the seeds for healthy habits and engaged communities.
Kathryn Kocarnik
Interim Co-Director
School Garden Educator at
Grand View Boulevard Elementary
Evah Hart
Interim Co-Director
School Garden Educator at
Wilshire Crest Elementary
Elizabeth Hall
Community Outreach and
Volunteer Management VISTA
Rachel Black
Program Manager
School Garden Educator at
Jackson STEM and
Rockdale Elementary School
Nathalie Dierkx
FoodCorps Service Member
School Garden Educator at
24th Street Elementary
Tashanda Giles
Community Outreach and
Fundraising VISTA
Laila Tamburini
Garden Manager
24th Street Elementary School

Abigail Orosz
Extended Education Outreach Coordinator

Richard Lee
Professional Hacktivist
Bon Vivant
Hilary Maybank
Community Volunteer & Garden Advocate
5th Generation California Farming Family
Kate Mulling
Co-Founder of Thrive Market
Editor, Chalkboard Magazine
Lydia Olivier
Maya Sharp
Founder, Jackson Community Pride Garden

Jill Walsh
American Friends of Maggie's
Centres, Inc
Rachel Begun, MS, RDN
Nutrition Advocate
Certified Natural Chef
Advisory Committee
Carolyn Bennett
Landscape Architect
Debbe Booth
Erin Breeze
Senior Change Architect, Tipton Inc.
Melanie Craft
Writer and Philanthropist
Laurie Dill
Owner of Your Local Hive
Scott Flax
Artist & Designer
Karen Haas
Owner, Haas Design, interior design firm
Claudia Kahn
Owner, The Help Company
Pamela Kelly
Partner, Latham & Watkins law firm
Board of Trustees, Echo Horizon School
Maggie Lobl
Echo Landscape Design
Lisa Lucas Talbot
Founder, Lucas LLP, publishing law firm
Co-leader of the Los Angeles Chapter of Slow Food USA, 2004-2012
Tara Maxey
Co-Owner of Heirloom LA
Editor of Yolk & Flour
Los Angeles Commissioner
to the Commission of Community and Family Services
Phil McGrath
McGrath Family Farms; fourth generation
LA Food Policy Council Member
Robin Moler
Vice President; Mercy for Animals
Nancy Goslee Power
Owner, Nancy Goslee Power and Associates, award-winning landscape architectural firm
Ilene Resnick
Michael Roberts
Director, UCLA Center for
Food Law and Policy
Amelia Saltsman
Award winning Author of The Seasonal Jewish Kitchen
and The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook
Yvonne Savio
www.GardeningInLA.net; retired
UCCE Master Gardener Program, LA
John Walsh
J. Paul Getty Museum (Emeritus)
Nat Zappia
Nadine Austin Wood Professor of American History; Whittier College