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How One School, One Garden Works:   


Pathkeepers will work with Indian schools to create an indoor to outdoor garden classroom.  “Schools” include tribal schools, Bureau of Indian Education schools, juvenile detention facilities, and other Indian youth community centers and organizations.  Depending on the resources and desires of the local community, schools can create the indoor to outdoor garden classroom through one of our three Pathkeepers programs, or any combination of them:


  • In-ground garden in native soils;

  • Raised-bed gardens; and

  • Container gardens.


To start a One School, One Garden Chapter, schools must first contact and apply to Pathkeepers for assistance with establishing a garden in their school.  Pathkeepers will conduct a preliminary intake to help determine which One School, One Garden program best suits the community’s needs and resources.  We will coordinate with local tribal members who have expertise in gardening to assist with planting and garden management.  This initial intake will also include early identification of potential garden sites, soil or water tests, resources for preparing and maintaining a garden, and seeds and plants best suited for the community’s culture, soils, water resources, climate, and growing season.


Once this initial phase is completed, Pathkeepers may travel to the tribe, school or youth organization for a short training course to assist with the set-up of the garden, including:


  • Identifying and meeting local gardeners who will help with school garden;

  • Explaining gardening, growing process, and ideal environmental conditions so that students can transplant seedlings outside to garden and also plant seeds outside; 

  • Selecting a garden site and begin initial preparations for planting;

  • Gathering resources needed to assist with preparing garden, for example, large and small equipment needed, tools, hoses, etc.; and

  • Starting seedlings inside with students and transferring seedlings, which were already started, into the garden.


Ideally, Pathkeepers prefers to start the garden classroom in the fall with the beginning of the school year.  In the first year, students will be in the “indoor” phase of the garden classroom and learn about different soils, seeds, plants and how to prepare, transplant, care and harvest a garden.  In the spring, the garden classroom will turn to the “outdoor” phase and students will begin preparing garden soils, transplanting, and seeding in the ground.  During the summer, the primary growing season, students and volunteers will continue with caring and harvesting the garden as part of a summer school class/program.  In the fall of the second and subsequent years, the outdoor phase will continue with final harvest, and indoor classes will begin for the new and returning students.


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