Winter is a wonderful time to plan for spring and prepare the garden to enhance growth in spring.  By feeding the soil we promote a healthy soil ecosystem that will best support plant health, production and the ability to defend against pests and disease.  Adding 1-2 inches of mulch or aged compost will help keep the soil from drying out and will feed the soil ecosystem through the winter.  If you have the ability to water through the winter, sowing a cover crop of oats or clover will improve the soil.

With our extremely warm, windy and dry weather this fall, be sure to water your trees, shrubs, perennials and lawn every 3-4 weeks when their is not snow on the ground.

If your school would like to schedule a workday to clean up please contact the Sustainability Team.  Please allow 2 weeks to schedule the workday trailer that has tools, gloves and wheelbarrows.

If you are a community partner or volunteer interested in supporting gardening at a DPS school that is not affiliated with Denver Urban Gardens please contact the Sustainability Team

Early morning in the garden at Kennedy HS.

The garden at John F. Kennedy High School in the morning sun

Gardens provide students with experiences unlike any in a classroom.  They are living labs, sources of food and nutrition, islands of nature.

Teaching in the Garden

Gardens intersect with every subject:  literacy, science, biology, earth science, geometry, communication, art, engineering, biology, nutrition, food justice, climate change, physical education, design, architecture, yoga, math, social justice, physics, civics, performance, graphic arts and beyond.  We are here to support your passion and sustainability initiatives, reach out at

DPS Garden Calendar

Grant Opportunities

Plant Snap ID App

Volunteer Project Request

Please complete this form for any garden workday with volunteers outside of DPS or to request our tool trailer

Chris Woodburn, Garden of Youth Director

Chris Woodburn
Program Specialist – Garden of Youth


Honey Bees at School

Summer 2019 Honey bees are crucial for many important agriculture crops but are threatened by a variety of environmental threats, including climate change and pesticides. Are you interested in having bee hives at your school? Raising bees helps create important connections between students, the environment and the foods we love. If you would like to

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Chickens at Schools

Summer 2019 Are you interested in having chickens at your school? Chickens provide a great learning opportunity for students to connect to nature and where their food comes from. If you would like to learn more about bringing chickens to your school, please refer to the current DPS Chicken Protocol.

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Garden Manual

Spring 2018 Grow a Garden Success Teachers, students and families and gardening champions, thanks for bringing gardening, greater food security, engagement with nature and endless learning opportunities to our students and community.  See the attached Denver Public Schools Garden Coalition Manual for the steps to connecting with the Sustainability department and our community partners to design, build,

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Sustainable Agriculture Challenge – Win up to $1,000

Create a plant to address problems with our food systems and you could win up to $1,000!  The Chipotle x Earth Force challenge is designed to help young people make their food systems more sustainable.  The challenge is youth lead with an adult sponsor.  Tackle issues like food waste, local production, food deserts or anything

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Cory Elementary Embraces the Whole Child, Whole Chicken and Whole Food!

Nov. 11th, 2021 by Skeeter Buck For the past several years, Cory Elementary — its students, teachers, and parents have collaborated utilizing a school-based community chicken program and garden as a space where our students, teachers, parents, and community can gather in an extended outdoor classroom to support experiential learning. A place where nature and

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Fall 2021 Sustainability Newsletter

Nov. 11th, 2021 Welcome to the return of the DPS Sustainability Newsletter! Our team manages utilities for the district, works to reduce our resource consumption by optimizing our buildings for efficiency and to create comfortable learning spaces. We engage students and clubs with their own projects and sustainability initiatives and share opportunities.  Our Fall 2021

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Read the 2020-2021 Sustainability Annual Report

October 28, 2021 DPS Sustainability has been working hard to have an impact on our schools, community and beyond.  Conserving resources, saving the district and taxpayers money and transitioning the district to more sustainable practices is only part of the work we do.

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Lincoln Hills Cares Interns Jumpstart DPS Gardens and Farms

Lincoln Hills Cares works to develop the next generation of youth leaders through outdoor education, recreation and improving our community. During the summer of 2021 high school and college students worked in the gardens at Manual HS, Smith ES, Maxwell ES and the farm at McAuliffe to get the land ready for planting and improve

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Stephen Ritz of Green Bronx Machine visits Denver Green School

Oct. 13, 2020 Educator and author, Stephen Ritz, visited Denver Green School to share his experience bringing indoor gardening and nutrition to students in the Bronx.  As the founder of Green Bronx Machine, Ritz brought hands-on learning to thousands of students with indoor tower gardens producing food for students and their families.  His efforts have dramatically

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DPS Breaks Ground on New Five-Acre Greenhouse Facility

Oct. 04, 2021 by Will Jones – Director of External Communications First district-based commercial greenhouse in nation to grow “salad bowl” items for schools Denver – Students in Denver Public Schools (DPS) will soon be able to dine on vegetables and fruits from the school district’s very own commercial greenhouse. District officials are breaking ground

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Denver Public Schools Gardens Grow Produce for our Community

Our gardens have never produced more food for our students, schools and community than the summer of 2021.  Working alongside community partners like Denver Urban Gardens, SustainEd Farms, Grow Local, International Rescue Committee, and Focus Points Family Resource Center, DPS gardens grew hundreds of pounds of produce that went directly into farm shares, food banks

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Garden of Youth Marks it’s 10th Anniversary

Sept 1st, 2021 After cancelling all summer programming in 2020 due to COVID-19, Garden of Youth returned for it’s tenth anniversary in 2021.  Garden of Youth is a ten week job skill development internship program for students 16-21 with IEP’s.  Interns practice soft job skills in small groups with a dedicated job coach, earning money

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Volunteers Make all the Difference in our Gardens

Aug 31st, 2021 As COVID-19 continued to impact our schools and gardens through summer 2021, volunteers and community partners rose to the occasion, coming together on projects, planting and harvesting produce for food banks and building up our community and schools.  Without their support, many of our gardens and farms would have grown into fields

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Students Engage Nature at Monarch Montessori

By Melanie Stewart-Lopes Monarch Montessori of Denver is two schools under one roof. First Steps at Monarch Montessori of Denver is the infant through preschool program that is a private, non-profit school and the elementary school is a public charter school through Denver Public Schools. Monarch is located in northeast Denver in the Montbello community

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Maxwell Elementary receives Westerra grant

Jan. 15th, 2021 Jessie Whaley Maxwell Elementary School received a Westerra Credit Union grant to renovate the school garden and add perennial fruit and vegetable plants.  The garden at Maxwell was developed through a partnership with Denver Urban Gardens (DUG) and the school.   A quarter of the garden is reserved for teachers, students and classes

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Garden Manual

Starting a Garden at Your School

Garden Curriculum and Resources

Garden Curriculum and Resources for Every Subject

Bees, Chickens, Goats and Soilless Grow Systems

Chickens, Bees, Goats & Soilless Grow Systems