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Our mission is to provide educators with inspiring, research-based gardening resources and professional development to support engaging, empowering, and relevant learning experiences for children, youth, adults, and communities.

About this site

  • Program Tools: Designed in partnership with the American Horticultural Society, Sowing the Seeds of Success is our web-based program planning tool. These resources will walk you through the organizational aspects of a gardening program. Find tools to help start, sustain, expand, and reflect on your program. Do you want to highlight the benefits of garden-based learning for your funding proposal or to rally community support? Are you looking for ways to integrate more youth leadership into your program? Or are you looking for some quick grab-and-go activities to measure your program’s effectiveness?
  • Lessons: Locate garden-based activities appropriate for a single afternoon, a six-week project, or that can be incorporated into another program.  Most of these activities are designed to target ages 6 to 14 and be easily adapted for other ages. 
  • Citizen Science: Discover how gardeners of all  ages and experience levels are sharing local observations that help address research questions and lead to gardening success.

Not sure where to begin?

Start with our top recommendations for the garden-based learning professional that is a best match for you.

HomepagecrowdK-12 Teacher or Volunteer

Youth Development Teacher or Volunteer

Garden Educator or Volunteer

Whether you are new to garden-based learning or have already established a garden project and are looking to expand, consider visiting our program planning toolkit, Sowing the Seeds of Success, to learn about organizing, fundraising, promoting and evaluating your project.

About Cornell Garden-Based Learning

Marcia Eames-Sheavly
Children and Youth Program Leader, Senior Extension Associate, Senior Lecturer, Cornell University Center for Teaching Excellence Teaching Scholar, Engaged Learning and Research Faculty Fellow, Kaplan Family Distinguished Faculty Fellow in Service-Learning

Lori J. Brewer
Adult and Family Education Program Leader, Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program Lead Advisor, NYS Seed to Supper Coordinator, Senior Extension Associate in Horticulture

Fiona Doherty
Cornell Garden-Based Learning Educator Enrichment Specialist

We are in Horticulture in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ (CALS) School of Integrative Plant Science (SIPS). We are also part of the Cornell University Cooperative Extension (CCE) network.

Our work encompasses programs, activities, and projects in which the garden is the foundation for integrated learning and discovery across disciplines, through active and engaging real-world experiences. We are committed to the value of gardening with children, youth, adults, families and communities, focusing on plants as an avenue to human and community well-being.

Our professional development opportunities for Cornell University Cooperative Extension educators, volunteers and their local partners aim to connect these community leaders with research-based knowledge, emerging issues as well as other Cornell University’s faculty, staff and programs. We facilitate learning and collaborations through program work team meetings, statewide and regional workshops or in-services, distance learning programs, elists, social media, small group or one-on-one discussions and an Internet presence.

We develop activities, programs, publications, and other educational materials, as well as share general garden information. In partnership with with faculty and staff at Cornell, Cornell Cooperative Extension educators and volunteers (including Master Gardener Volunteers) in county associations we pilot test, evaluate, and reflect on all of our materials prior to making them accessible for free on our website.

We also work with other organizations throughout the United States and internationally on projects and through symposia, conferences, and cultural exchanges.

At the heart of what we do is a foundation of research-based knowledge and experience.

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