The garden at The Garden at Mockingbird Elementary, a public elementary school in the heart of East Dallas, began over 20 years ago with a simple goal – use a garden to teach children about the life cycle of plants. A small plot of beans planted in a corner of the school yard captured student imaginations and cultivated their curiosity. As they learned, the garden grew.
Today, the original plot has evolved into a 20,000 square foot garden, a beautiful oasis in an urban neighborhood. Rows of student vegetable crops line up next to school buildings along a busy city street. Native wildflowers bloom in the Texas sun. A chicken coop houses a handful of hens, and seedlings sprout in the small greenhouse.
But this lovely bit of nature is also much more. The garden is a key educational tool, a hands-on learning lab where every Mockingbird Elementary student learns by doing in a multi-sensory outdoor classroom that teaches science, connects children to nature, and helps them grow as learners.
All of our more than 600 students regularly attend garden class, where they learn from a rich academic program that involves tending the garden, science experiments, and ongoing observations of the complex workings of a diverse ecosystem. Over the past decade, thousands of students have planted, cultivated and harvested their own crops, growing their understanding of and connection to the natural world.
The garden program at The Garden at Mockingbird Elementary has become a fixture in the experience of all students. In 2009, the volunteer-led non-profit that supports the garden program, The Garden at Mockingbird Elementary, was founded to preserve this valuable resource. Parents and community members formed the organization when a Dallas Independent School District budget crisis eliminated all funding for the garden program, including the garden instructor position, Volunteers raise funds at the school and in the community to sustain and enhance this program by supporting maintenance, coordination and instructional materials in the garden. Teachers collaborate to share their knowledge and are leading the instruction in the garden. With a shared responsibility of community members, parents, and faculty, this is truly a community garden.
To learn about how you can support The Garden at Mockingbird Elementary, please click here firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us at or contact a member of The Garden at Mockingbird Elementary Board
Julia Herchen – President
Allison Lee – Vice President
Elizabeth Lemoine – Legal Counsel
Reina Patel – Secretary
Leslie Rauscher – Treasurer
MerRhea Garza – VP Events
Lauren Laughlin – VP Fundraising
Wil Murphy – VP Volunteers
Courtney Esposito – Past President
We support the learning garden at The Garden at Mockingbird Elementary, a 20,000 square foot outdoor laboratory where students tend crops, observe the complex workings of an ecosystem, and conduct scientific experiments. The hands-on, multi-sensory curriculum allows children from kindergarten through fifth grade to increase their understanding of science and their connection to nature.