Sustainable Communities Network is a  commnity-based  non-profit organization located in Lexington, Ky that endeavors to educate, inspire, build, create and empower sustainable cities

2011 Fundraising Letter
with highlights of our work in 2010

We welcome any amount of contributions to our on-going programs.
Make monthly automatic contributions by clicking on this link(subscribe):

Payment options
Make a one time contribution by clicking on (donate):
Thanks for your donation!

We encourage you to read our

SCN Annual Report 2009

Back 2 Nature project Report

Sustainable Communities Network contributed articles, photographs and quotes for this book.


Join the Bluegrass garden network!

For list of current Community Gardens  in Lexington,





School Garden Curriculum Resources

Garden Enhanced Nutrition Education Resources (GENE) – an extensive list of resources used in our Plant It, Grow It, Eat It and Healthy School Environment Workshops.
Garden Classroom Management Tips
The Value of Garden-Based Learning
Life Lab's Photo Gallery of School Garden Elements
Life Lab's YouTube Video Channel – over 40 videos demonstrating garden instruction, activity and Life Lab history.

Curriculum & Online Lessons

Created by Life Lab
Other great sites to find lessons
Garden-Based Learning Literature Lists
Connecting to Content Standards


School Garden Workshops and Consulting

Life Lab Educator Workshops page lists all the workshops we provide
Life Lab offers consulting for your school garden team at your site or at our Garden Classroom
The California School Garden Network's Event Calendar - view workshops across California
Life Lab's School Garden Promoters Toolbox lists school garden regional support networks across the nation


Starting a School Garden

Life Lab's Getting Started
  • Purchase or download Life Lab's Getting Started: A Guide for Creating School Gardens as Outdoor Classrooms. Download available in Spanish.
 Other great school garden planning resources


Gardening Resources

Online resources specific to school gardening
Resources worth purchasing
  • Kidsgardening.org – carries materials and publications specific to kids gardening
  • Sunset Western Garden Book Kathleen Norris Brenzel (Editor) A great garden resource with thousands of plant descriptions and growing tips. Includes loads of how to gardening tips.
Choosing Plants and Planting Dates
  • Deciding what and when to plant in your school garden is often challenge for new gardeners. These page will help you make a successful plan.
  • Edible Theme Garden Planting Guide Life Lab has created a theme garden planting calendar to help schools plan an edible harvest. This document has suggested planting dates and generalized days to harvest for the following edible theme beds:
    • Spring Planted: Pizza Bed, Three Sisters Garden, Salsa Garden, Stir Fry Garden, Grazers Garden, Salad Garden
    • Fall Planted: Sitr Fry Garden, Salad Garden

This chart was created for a California Coastal climate, you will need to modify the planting dates for your climatic zone. Additionally, "days to harvest" differ depending on seed varities and these numbers can be modified. The file is an Excel file so you should be able to modify this chart for you needs.

General gardening resources
  • Many state's cooperative extension offices have Master Garden volunteers who provide gardening support. Contact your local California Master Gardener.
  • University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Catalog
    • Search the ANR Catalog for hundreds of resources for purchase and free downloads. Many publications are relevant to sustaining and instructing in school gardens such as: Honey Bee Education Posters, Natural Enemies Are Your Allies (beneficail insect ID poster), Home Canning Guides, Home Vegetable Gardening, and slide show on How to Begin A School Garden and A School Garden Curriculum.
      Click on the "Free Publications" link to download information on growing vegetables, trees, pest control and more.
  • UCSC Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems  "For the Gardener – Downloadable Organic Gardening Tip Sheets"  Browse tip sheets on growing garlic, potatoes, peas, greens, onions and garlic. Learn about water conservation, cover cropping, building healthy soil, controlling slugs and snails, and more
  • Growing A Healthy Garden is a great primer on how to maintain a healthy garden ecosystem.

  • Savingwater.org has handouts on maintainting healthy garden, a compost calculator, directions on installing a drip irrigation system, and much more.
  • Dripworks.com – a great place to learn about and purchase drip irrigation supplies. They have a free irrigation design service and offer %15 off for school gardens.
  • Materials Calculators for estimating soil quantities for filling garden boxes. Most landscape stores sell materials in cubic yards.
  • Information on vegetable, flower and herb planting, care, and harvest can be found at:
    • Organic Gardening.com: Get gardening tips, sign up for monthly garden reports for your area, and simplified information on the care and harvest of garden plants.
    • National Gardening Association's Food Garden Guide: Detailed information on planting, care and harvesting of garden plants.
    • National Gardening Association's Regional Reports: Get gardening information for your region, sign up for bimonthly gardening tips.
    • Burpee.com: Great information on gardening and seed catalog, sign up for regional garden reports, visit their "library" for plant care and harvest information. visit their "nutrition guide" for vegetable nutrient content and garden kitchen tips.
    • Bonnie Plants: Simple and concise information on growing common vegetables and herbs. This site also has tips for harvesting vegetables.


Garden Classroom Management Tips

Sustaining Your School Garden- Article from The Garden Times, Spring 2002

Summer Vacation for Your Garden- Article from the Garden Times, Spring 2003

Managing an Effective Outdoor Classroom- Article from the Garden Times, Spring 2003 plus more resources on Effective Outdoor Mangement

Worm Bin Bingo Game – Instructions to play and download link for worm bin bingo cards 

Garden Pathways shows hundreds of ways to connect school gardens to academic content.

Salad Harvest Cards  Use these cards to break the task of harvesting and/or preparing a salad with a group of kids.  


The Value of Garden-Based Learning

 The Garden, A Master Teacher  An excellent essay on the many benefits of garden-based learning.

CSGN Research Page has research briefs on the value of school gardens, an extensive list of research articles, and much more.



Fresh Start Plan  Contributions(Jim Embry) 

Embry Web Articles
Embry Ace Articles
Brattleboro 100year plan

ACE Weekly download articles

Gardens of Eatin

Shovel Ready

Lexington Gardens Grow

Dig It: Gardens Root

HOBY Eco-Art 2009
HOBY Eco-Art 2008

Model of the Year
Closing the Food Gap

Greening of Bryan Station High School

Growing Food & Justice conference

Community Garden Tour Report

Gardening with Class

Bluegrass Food Security Summit 2010

The Great Work

The Great Turning

Farm to School

School gardens

Catherine Ferguson Academy

Catherine Ferguson "O" magazine article

Asenath Andrews

 Grown in Detroit_


Food and Sacred Earth Connections

Religion and Environment

Closing the Food Gap 2008

Profile of Food Policy Councils by State

interactive map of food policy councils

 Climate Change  portal information

Climate Change Books

African Americans Climate Change:Unequal Burden_REPORT

African Americans Climate Change Ex Summary

African Americans Climate Change Bullard Bibliography

Slow Food Newsletter