Life Lab

Life Lab cultivates children's love of learning, healthy food, and nature through garden-based education.

Update for Summer 2022

Dear Life Lab Camp Community,

We know this communication is long-awaited, and we thank you so much for your patience with us as we planned a return to in-person programming this summer. New visions and opportunities for summer programs at our special UCSC site have recently coalesced, so we can now share that we will not be offering open registration summer camps as in previous years. This means that we will not be offering Garden Sprouts, Wildlands & Watering Cans, OWLS or Eagles summer camps.

This season we will be piloting a new type of summer program for elementary school students from the Pajaro Valley. Since 2013 Life Lab has partnered with Pajaro Valley Unified School District (PVUSD) to increase access to garden-based learning opportunities for its 8,000 K-5 students. With a new, long-term commitment from PVUSD to expand and deepen this approach in all 16 of its elementary schools, we now have an unprecedented opportunity to weave foundational garden classroom experiences into public educational spaces.

In support of this collaborative effort, Life Lab’s summer programs this year will bring young students from Watsonville and Pajaro schools for immersive experiences that cultivate children’s love of learning, nourishing food, and nature in our special location at UC Santa Cruz. As you know, our Garden Classroom at UCSC is a welcoming and inspiring place. Having these joyful, nature-based experiences on a university campus also provides the opportunity for kids to develop a sense of belonging in a college setting. This can be very influential for their ability to see themselves in such spaces in the future, and we are excited to partner with PVUSD and UCSC to help build potential pathways for Pajaro Valley students.

Though our summer programs are changing, we look forward to continuing to be in community with you and your family as well! Our Garden Classroom and the whole UCSC Farm are open to the public from 8am to 6pm every day, and we hope you will visit often. We will continue to reach out to you with new opportunities to celebrate the garden and nature in community together, as well.

Life Lab would not have been able to pursue these opportunities for expanded access to garden-based learning without years of your support. We are grateful to you and our extended Santa Cruz community and look forward to keeping in touch.

Gardens of gratitude,

Judit Camacho, Don Burgett & the Summer Program Team 

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3 weeks ago

Life Lab

Become a Life Lab Certified Gardener! 🌱🌻Based on the success of our first four cohorts of Life Lab-Certified Garden Educators, we are excited to announce that registration is now open for individuals to register and be part of our fifth cohort starting January 23rd, 2023! We’ve put together a series of 4 on-line courses that will guide and support educators in becoming a Life Lab-Certified School Garden Educator. Upon successful completion of the 4 courses, participants will receive a certificate and the distinction of being a Life Lab-Certified Garden Educator. Each course will last 4 weeks long and include 4 synchronous meetings, at-home work, and a unique coaching model. The total commitment for the full series is 16 weeks. Check out our website for more information! Registration for the full certification series is now open. Please share with others who are looking for ideas and inspiration in the garden! There are 24 spots available and we sold out in our last 4 certification series. We hope you can join us!Life Lab offers a limited number of course fee reductions based on need and anticipated impact. To apply for financial assistance, follow the link below. Scholarship applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis between now and December 1st, 2022 or until all funds have been awarded.

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2 months ago

Life Lab

Thanks Shmuel! and all those that joined the Starlight workday.

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7 months ago

Life Lab

www.lifelab.org/jobs Full-time Bilingual Garden Educators at PVUSD School Gardens and Summer Program Staff at Garden Classroom on UCSC Farm

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7 months ago

Life Lab

Full-time Career and Summer Staff Positions in @pajarovalleyusd school gardens and the Life Lab Garden Classroom. On the @ucscagroecology farm @ucsc @pvusdschoolfood lifeLab.org/jobs

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7 months ago

Life Lab

We are so glad to be a part of this year’s Growing School Gardens Summit! 415 attendees from 45 states across the US, representing 6,000+ school gardens serving more than 2.5 million students. Here we go!!

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9 months ago

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Rainbow Chips 📗🌱📙🍊📕🍅In this lesson students introduce themselves, create group agreements, listen to a story about a rainbow, and then go on a search for different colors in order to begin to form a personal connection with the #gardenclassroom .Also, we just wanted to show this really awesome squash gradience 😄#gardenbasededucation #NGSS #scienceinthegarden #schoolgarden #NGSGintheGarden

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9 months ago

Life Lab

Food Factories 🍅🥗😋In this lesson, students find leaves with holes in them and then construct explanations for what might havecaused those holes. They listen to a story book and add further possible explanations for the holes. Thenthey explore the garden to prepare to engage in argument from evidence about which explanation for these holes seems the most plausible. Finally, they relate this concept to plants that humans eat.#NGSGintheGarden #NGSS #gardenbasededucation

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Stock up your Garden Classroom

Life Lab provides truly inspiring training. Their breadth of experience, joy for teaching, and commitment to sharing knowledge highlight the best practices in food and garden education.
Erica CurryTraining and Professional Development ManagerFoodCorps
Thank you for such a wonderful field trip experience! Your leaders did such a great job at keeping our kids engaged.
Sheila BrickenKindergarten TeacherSan Lorenzo Valley Elementary
Terry had another awesome two weeks at Life Lab. I think he learns more there than in any other part of his year. School is great, but he’s passionate (and often dogmatic) about what he learns there.
Tara NeierCamp ParentSummer camp mom
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