Welcome to Atkinson’s Outdoor Learning Gardens
Atkinson Elementary School, 5800 SE Division, Portland, Oregon 97206
There is much to learn in the garden! For some students, the Atkinson School Gardens provide their first connection to the natural world. Working in a garden increases awareness of what we eat and where it comes from. Maintaining the gardens teaches valuable lessons in caring for place. Gardens inspire the creative spirit.
This website, “A Year in the School Garden,” is intended as a resource for parent volunteers, teachers, and friends of the gardens at Atkinson School. It may prove helpful to those interested in building and maintaining school gardens in this region.
This site tells the stories of how these gardens got here and looks at ways to use and maintain these spaces throughout the school year. It includes a month by month look, in English and Spanish, at what to do in the garden, and provides a number of resources connected to this place, and beyond.
It might seem that our gardens have been here forever, but as recently as 2000, not one seed of our existing gardens had been planted. Our gardens are a testament to what a few people, with the support of a principal, invested teachers, and a school community behind them, can create.
Thanks to our community!
Sincere thanks to the Oregon Community Foundation, Gray Family Fund, for the grant provided to fund this project. Deep gratitude to Em Scattaregia, Nikki Schulak, David Bales and Laurie Wayne for all their help putting this site together.
Thank you: Abby Haight for help with the garden stories, Lydia Hernandez for Spanish translation, Aliesje King for help with the maintenance section, Adrian and Christopher Hinkle for writing about birds in this area, and Gerry Foote for editing. Additional thanks go to: Caitlin Blethen, Marc Bouchet Coulbert, Alissa Keny-Guyer, Tessa Luk, Janelle Lee, Michael McCallister, Weston Miller, Jennifer O Donnell, Leslie Pohl-Kosbau, Brian Lincoln, Shelley Washburn, and Constance San Juan.
And bouquets of flowers to the wonderful community who built and care for these gardens.