Life Lab

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

Greetings Field Trip Teachers!

We’re looking forward to spending this time with your class in the Garden Classroom.

Please read this information thoroughly and pass the info along to all adults who will be accompanying your class.

For all field trips:

Where to Park: Please park in the dirt lot outside the Farm Back Gate.   Click here to download a parking map, and please print a copy for each driver. GPS and map services don’t work here; please be sure drivers follow our map.

Parking Permits: We will meet you at the parking area before your field trip and will bring parking passes ($4 each).

Please plan on arriving 20 minutes early and having snack before the program. It always seems to take a little longer than planned to get here and walking from the parking area to the farm can take up to ten minutes with a group of children. Also, it’s a good idea to allow a few minutes for the students to have snack at the garden before the field trip begins.

Role of Chaperones: We invite all accompanying parents/chaperones to join in on the field trips and encourage them to help shepherd the students in their group. Also, keep in mind that the field trip is oriented towards children, so please ask chaperones to refrain from asking “adult” questions during the program.

Groups: Please divide the children into groups ahead of time, so that after our introduction we can efficiently split up.  For 1st grade and up, we split into three groups; for the pre & K program we split into four groups.

Nametags are a great help to us, especially if they are color-coded for the groups (the red group, the blue group, etc.).

Dress appropriately, with closed-toed shoes. Make sure students are prepared for the weather and keep in mind that this is a hands-on experience — they may get dirty.

Weather: If it looks like there will be light rain during your visit please encourage your students to bring rainwear and boots if they have them. Light rain is no problem, but heavy rain will cancel a field trip and we will call the morning of the field trip if the rain is too heavy. (Exception: our winter field trip program runs rain or shine and we have plenty of rain cover and ponchos if needed).

Cancellations: Please call us (459-4035) as much in advance as possible if you need to cancel your field trip. If you cancel your field trip less than two weeks prior to the field trip date, the field trip fee will not be refunded or credited to later field trips. Payment for parking passes will be refunded if parking passes are returned unmarked.

For 1st grade and up field trips (scroll down for pre & K):

Lunches: Please have students bring a lunch to eat at our 11:40 lunchtime. Please challenge yourselves to bring low-waste lunches (packed in reusable containers). Due to limited garbage facilities, we ask that you pack out your garbage; recycling is available for cans and bottles.

Lesson Packet: Some of our field trips include pre- and post-visit activities for you to do with your class. We also include the lessons that your students do during their visit. Consider your visit to the Garden Classroom just one part of a whole unit you can share with your class. Download your lesson packet below.  

Field Trip Agenda:

Winter & Spring
1st & up Schedule

10:00 Introduction
10:20 Garden Classroom Lessons (based on the theme of the field trip) — We will rotate through 3 stations in 3 small groups
11:40 Lunch
12:00 Farm Exploration
12:55 Wrap-up
Fall Farm to Fork Schedule
10:00 Introduction (Six Plant Parts)
10:20 Break into three groups and explore the farm, harvesting and tasting examples of the six plant parts and visiting the apple orchard and corn fields
11:40 Lunch
12:00 Garden Classroom Rotations: Apple Pressing, Tortilla Making, and Chickens
1:10 Wrap-up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Seeds of Wonder pre & K field trips:

Field Trip Agenda (field trips run 9:00-10:30 or 11:00-12:30):
Large Group Introduction, then split into small groups
Activity Stations — We will rotate through 4 stations, 15 min/station.
Large Group Wrap-up

Allergies: This program may include tasting of seeds, including walnuts. Please let us know if your class includes children who are allergic to tree nuts.

General Information

Life Lab is an independent nonprofit based on the UCSC campus. The Life Lab Garden Classroom is located on the 25-acre CASFS Farm near the base of campus. The Garden Classroom is an outdoor discovery laboratory. In the Garden Classroom you will find composting demonstrations, chickens, educational displays, a children’s vegetable garden, and much more.

The farm is managed by the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems and serves as a training and research center for sustainable agriculture activities and produces an array of mixed fruits and vegetables.

Life Lab offers a variety of field trips fall, winter, and spring. Click here for more information on our field trip programs.

Thanks for your interest in the Life Lab Garden Classroom & the CASFS Farm. We’re looking forward to your visit!

Cara Sundell, Garden Programs Manager
Life Lab
cara@lifelab.org
(831) 459-4035

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2 days ago

Life Lab

The Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation is proudly celebrating five years of supporting nonprofits that teach students and communities about the goodness of fresh ingredients. This year, the Foundation awarded more than 110 Neighborhood Grants to nonprofit organizations, with Life Lab being one of them!

We are grateful for the continued support from Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation. Life Lab is honored to have been chosen as a recipient of the Neighborhood Grants. Our partnership reflects Sprouts Farmers Market’s core values of education, environmental stewardship, and nutrition.

With this support we have been able to launch and sustain BackPocketLearning.org, a robust directory of easy to use activities that require no screen time, promote healthy eating and inspires creativity. This site is perfect for teachers and parents alike! BackPocketLearning.org has garnished over 7k users from all over the world, in almost every continent, since our launch in April.

Sprouts Farmers Market

#sproutsfarmersmarket #MyLifelab #local #nonprofit See MoreSee Less

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7 days ago

Life Lab

🌱 Join the SGSO Leadership Institute 🌱

Every year, we host a School Garden Support Organization Leadership Institute to provide an opportunity for school garden professionals from across the country to collaborate, learn from one another, and develop resources to share with a national audience. Collectively, SGSO Institute participants have improved their own work while also sharing ideas and resources to help others do the same.

In the face of the myriad challenges of 2020, all of you in SGSOs across the country are innovating in creative and inspiring ways to sustain and enhance garden education for their students. We are eager for other SGSOs to learn from you! With generous support from Whole Kids Foundation , we are pleased to be able to provide stipends for peoples’ contributions to these Working Groups.

This year’s SGSO Institute is open to newcomers and SGSO Institute Alumni!

🚨 Applications are due November 6, 2020 🚨

To learn more about this exciting opportunity and apply, visit: lifelab.org/sgso See MoreSee Less

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1 week ago

Life Lab

Life Lab celebrates Indigenous Peoples Day with special recognition of the land on which our gardens grow and by sharing beautiful family friendly resources highlighting indigenous storytelling and efforts of Native peoples to reclaim food sovereignty, cultural identity, and native land stewardship.

The Life Lab Land Acknowledgement, now shared at all formal gatherings in our Garden Classroom on the UCSC campus:

“The land on which we gather is the unceded territory of the Awaswas-speaking Uypi Tribe. The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, comprised of the descendants of indigenous people taken to missions Santa Cruz and San Juan Bautista during Spanish colonization of the Central Coast, is today working hard to restore traditional stewardship practices on these lands and heal from historical trauma.”

*Land acknowledgement developed in partnership with the
Amah Mutsun Tribal Band Chairman and the Amah Mutsun
Relearning Program at the UCSC Arboretum.

Learn more about the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band and the
www.amahmutsunlandtrust.org/

Life Lab is honored to support the film, GATHER (Gather) with a
FREE virtual screening on October 30th at 7pm

📷 credit: Amah Mutsun Land Trust website See MoreSee Less

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2 weeks ago

Life Lab

Looking for some #garden #joy? Join us for a sweet sharing of Life Lab Reimagined: program updates, inspired learning, and community at our Fall Benefit this Saturday at 10:30am 🌱Register at Lifelab.org/fallbenefit 🌱Learn about our New Curriculum, New Life Lab Educator Certification Program, New Staff, and New Garden Additions👀Plus all the beautiful work we’re doing to support school garden education locally and nationally🌻Participants are automatically eligible to win a raffle prize courtesy of @synergyclothing ❤️ #schoolgarden #education #kisstheground #teachtheyouth #landstewardship #fundraiser See MoreSee Less

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3 weeks ago

Life Lab

It’s Harvest Festival Week🌻happening virtually October 5-10th. A collaboration between the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems UCSC CASFS Farm Life Lab​, and students of UCSC Food Systems Working Group
Mark your calendar! The week-long series is full of fun virtual activities for all ages, with live streamed musical performances, a lecture on agroecology from a panel of experts, and ending the week with Life Lab’s #Funtastic Fall Benefit highlighting new program updates and staff/garden additions. Register at www.LifeLab.org/fallbenefit

Visit bit.ly/ucscharvestfest for a complete schedule of events and registration instructions.

Monday, October 5
7:00 PM – 7:45 PM
Life Lab Backyard Chickens Q&A

Tuesday, October 6
10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Saving Seeds, Sustaining Our Communities

Wednesday, October 7
1:30 PM – 2:45 PM
The evolution of agroecology as a practice, a research discipline, and a social movement

7:00 PM – 7:45 PM
Nurture Yourselves With Nature!

Thursday, October 8
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Cider Donut Workshop and The Everything Apple Panel

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Celebrating Queers and Nature

7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Giant Green Anemone! Going Deep Into Local Tide Pool Explorations

Friday, October 9
12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Planting Seeds For Success: Community Connections to Water Your Garden for Wellness!

2:30 PM – 4:00 PM
What is the Food Systems Working Group and what does it do?

5:00 PM – 7:30 PM
Rachel Carson Garden Cooking + Poetry Workshop/Mic!

Saturday, October 10
10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Life Lab Fall Benefit Gathering
#schoolgardens #gardeneducation #lifelab #harvest #gratitude See MoreSee Less

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4 weeks ago

Life Lab

Happy weekend everyone ☀️Enjoy this sweet share of the UCSC Farm featuring Life Lab 🌱and our chickens! 🐓We look forward to sharing more with all of you as part of our upcoming Fall Benefit on October 10th. Register at Lifelab.org/fallbenefit youtu.be/uEAv4SabLoA See MoreSee Less

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4 weeks ago

Life Lab

In celebration of the Fall Equinox 🍁we are excited to share a poignant new film called Kiss the Ground Movie🌱Life Lab is honored to have partnered with Kiss the Ground to develop middle school curriculum and accompanying training video for educators, focused on the process of capturing and storing carbon in living organisms such as soil, plants and algae.🌿

This hopeful film showcases part of the solution to climate change that is right under our feet: biosequestration in the soil. Life Lab invites you to join a Global Watch Party for the film, followed by a live Q and A at 6pm PST / 9pm EST. For more info, go to Kiss the Ground Movie 🌍 #Lifelab #regenerativeagriculture #schoolgardens #soilhealth #earthactivist #climatechangesolutions See MoreSee Less

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1 month ago

Life Lab

It’s World Gratitude Day! 💐Life Lab is grateful for our community and to continue our 40+ year mission of cultivating children’s love of learning, healthy food, and nature through garden based education🌱#life lab #schoolgardens #education #worldgratitudeday #gratitude See MoreSee Less

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1 month ago

Life Lab

Join us on October 10th at 10:30am for Life Lab’s Fall Benefit: A Celebration of Learning and Community.
Register at LifeLab.org/fall-benefit
This virtual event includes a tour of Life Lab’s evolving work and vision. Plus we have a surprise announcement! We are thankful for your encouragement and support as a member of our Life Lab community. Despite the challenges of this unprecedented year, Life Lab is moving forward with grace and creative innovation. The events of this season have provided opportunities to support our local community and national networks in new ways, expand our reach through virtual connections, and dive more deeply into justice and equity in all of our work. We are strengthening the roots that feed Life Lab programs as we continue to transform the Nature of Education. Continued cultivation of children’s love for learning and connections with healthy food and nature during COVID is essential and brings hope, wonder, and a much needed breath of fresh air. We are excited to share the inspiring work of our dedicated staff with you! #gratitude #schoolgardens #education #lifelab #fundraiser #gardens
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1 month ago

Life Lab

🚨Join us TODAY at 11am PST🚨

💚Bringing Social Emotional Learning and
Mindfulness Education to Your Work💚

Join Sheri S. Dollin, M.Ed., Educational Consultant and Mindfulness Facilitator, and Sunny Wight, Co-Founder of Mindfulness First, for an overview of mindfulness and Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in the distance learning setting.

Together, we will look at how an understanding of trauma, mindfulness and SEL can help us to manage stress while nurturing the scientifically proven “protective factors” that help prevent and manage trauma and mental health issues both for ourselves and our students.

We will specifically learn about the brain science of stress, and practice mindfulness techniques you can teach to your students. We’ll also take a look at Mindfulness First’s synchronous and asynchronous online work, and quickly understand that it’s easier than we think to integrate mindfulness and SEL into online classrooms. Bring: something to draw with and a piece of paper, for Mindful Art.

For more information and to register click the link below
zoom.us/webinar/register/2015977037712/WN_JbIOXX6RQnCDaw6fNxbz2w See MoreSee Less

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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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