Life Lab

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

Educator Certification Program:

Become a Life Lab-Certified School Garden Educator!


Building on Life Lab’s 40 years of experience in the school garden movement, we’ve updated and put together a series of 4 virtual courses that will guide and support educators in becoming a Life Lab-Certified School Garden Educator. Upon completion of the full series of 4 courses, participants will receive a certificate and the distinction of being a Life Lab – Certified Garden Educator! Due to demand, educators must sign up for the full series.  We are not offering individual course sign-ups at this time.

$1,400 for all 4 courses and the certification

The spring cohort is currently underway. Registration for fall 2023 will open on May 15, 2023. To be notified when it opens, join our e-list here.

Tiny Garden Cracker

Course Details:

Growing Environmental Stewards in the School Garden

Develop a child’s love of nature and support their social emotional wellbeing through garden-based activities.  Participants in this course will learn how to set up their garden classroom as a safe and welcoming space that is inclusive and respectful of all living things. We will learn gardening tips and tricks with children while also demonstrating activities that engage children in using their senses to explore the natural world. Additionally, we will explore best practices in mindfulness and social emotional learning through an equity lens and how to incorporate this into the garden classroom.  

Live Sessions:

Mondays 3:30 - 5:00 PST

Jan 23rd

Jan 30th

Feb 6th

Feb 13th

Growing Engaged Learners in the School Garden

Learn to use a garden to breathe life into standards-based lessons based on Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Common Core Language Arts and Math. Participants in this course will also explore best practices for establishing and maintaining a positive, engaging culture of learning and fun in a garden setting. We will learn how to set the tone for equitable and inclusive instruction; garden class routines; and specific techniques to maximize student engagement and participation using Life Lab’s The Growing Classroom activity guide for grades K-6 and our newly released NGSS-aligned lessons. 

Live Sessions:

Mondays 3:30 - 5:00 PST

Feb 21st *This class will be held on a Tuesday*

Feb 27th

March 6th

March 13th

Growing Children’s Wellbeing in the School Garden

Make the connection from seed to table in this empowering course! Using tried-and-true Life Lab lessons and recipes for grades K-8, participants will explore effective ways to teach nutrition and encourage kids to eat more fruits and vegetables through hands-on garden-based activities. We will demonstrate important routines for preparing and enjoying healthy food with kids such as, harvesting from the garden, kitchen and garden tool safety, and group and materials management. We will also learn different approaches to crop planning, composting and regenerative agriculture that inspire the next generation of environmental stewards.

Live Sessions:

Mondays 3:30 - 5:00 PST

March 20th

March 27th

April 3rd

April 10th

Growing Resilient, Empowered Communities in the School Garden

Why do some school gardens take root and become well-established, while others struggle? In this course, we will discuss key elements of building a strong school garden culture. Together, we’ll explore different, sustainable school garden program models; planning tools to align year-round garden activities with academic and garden care goals; methods for assessing garden programs; and strategies for increasing funding.

Live Sessions:

Monday 3:30 - 5:00 PST

April 17th

April 24th

May 1st

May 8th


Students’ Enthusiasm

Saw marked improvements in students’ enthusiasm for learning after attending our workshops, in 2019.


Social & Emotional Skills

Saw marked improvements in students’ social and emotional skills (i.e. interpersonal skills, responsibility, cooperation) after attending our workshops, in 2019.

Educators Trained

*Number reflects participants of in-person workshops, virtual workshops and webinars since 2013

Students Reached

*Number reflects students reached as reported by participants of in-person workshops, virtual workshops and webinars since 2016

Join the Movement!

At Life Lab, we believe the world needs informed, inspired, creative, and collaborative leaders, ready with the skills and the motivation they need to work for justice, sustainability, and healthy communities. And we believe that the garden is an ideal space for growing just such leaders! Now, more than ever, we need dedicated educators to lead children in cultivating a love of learning, healthy food and connection to our natural world through garden-based education. 

Upon completion of the 4 courses, participants will receive a certificate and the distinction of being a Life Lab-Certified Garden Educator.

The courses are designed to support leading students in face-to-face learning, however modifications for potential distance learning opportunities will be embedded in each course while COVID restrictions are still a reality. University of the Pacific graduate education credits are available (8 credits for the entire certification series)

Life Lab-Certified School Garden Educators

Course Facilitators

My name is Regi Jones and I grew up and attended university in North Carolina. My passion for education began while working with groups of Burmese youth in the summer. That launched me into moving to New Orleans to dive into my curiosity about the connection between food and education. Primarily focusing on how food can be used to connect people across cultures and how what we eat is shaped by our own ancestral connections. When I’m not thinking about how to draw young people into those conversations I love any outdoor activity, trying new foods and watching That’s so Raven.
Regi Jones
Lead Educator
Whitney Cohen is a teacher, trainer, and author with tremendous commitment to, and expertise in, place-based education; student-led inquiry; strategies for engaging a diverse student population; school gardens; and the intersection between environmental education, Common Core and Next Generation academic content standards, and the public school system.
Jenna began her career in education as a second grade teacher in Atlanta Public Schools. At present, she continues to work at the intersection of the education system and local food systems, primarily developing curriculum and training teachers around the world with partner organizations including FoodCorp, Georgia Organics, Life Lab, and Small Bites Adventure Club.
Jenna Mobley
Guest Educator
John came to Life Lab in 2000 with years of experience as an environmental educator in places such as Hidden Villa and in Honduras as a Peace Corps Volunteer. After a couple of years working at UCSC CASFS as Outreach Coordinator, creating a summer camp program, and expanding fieldtrips John came to Life Lab. With Life Lab he built and maintained the Garden Classroom and developed programming for children and UCSC interns. Currently John is focused on sharing the innovative work of Life Lab through communications, educator professional development, and networking across the state and nation. John attended UC San Diego and has a BA in Biological Anthropology.

Thanks for joining Life Lab in supporting garden-based education!

Translate »
Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial