As the growing season draws to a close and we prepare gardens for winter, compost old plant material onsite or through the city’s composting program. Our irrigation team turns off systems in the first few weeks of October and many gardens will not have access to water through the winter.  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.

If your school would like to schedule a fall workday to clean up  please contact Chris Woodburn.  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 Chris Woodburn  (720)456-9083

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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    More Headlines

Stephen Ritz of Green Bronx Machine visits Denver Green School

by Chris Woodburn – Sustainability Program Specialist, 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

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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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Garden of Youth Marks it’s 10th Anniversary

by Chris Woodburn – Sustainability Program Specialist, 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

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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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Gigia Kolouch – Nutrition & Garden Champion

Dec 16th, 2020 – Gigia Kolouch – Sustainability Champion The Sustainability Champion series highlights the people forging garden and sustainability pathways in Denver Public Schools.  Gigia is among the pioneer garden champions that planted, nurtured and tended the first gardens and student gardeners and chefs in DPS.  Born in Marin County, California and raised in

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Greenwood Academy builds solar ovens Fall 2019 Putting the “E” in STEAM Education!  Each One Teach One students worked beside Engineer Joe Callahan, founder of Energilab, to build solar ovens to use the sun’s energy for cooking. The sun is a clean, renewable energy source that preserves the planet for future generations. We can teach you how to steam vegetables, bake Read More »
Garden of Youth

To learn more about our garden program, click here! Case Managers, apply with your student before Mach 1st. The Garden of Youth program provides paid summer internships to 16-21 year old students with IEP’s to develop job skills.  Each summer, young adults meet in small groups at eight school garden sites across the district to learn

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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