Growing Minds Garden

With the launch of a comprehensive farm-to-school initiative in the fall of 2013, Serendipity has broken ground on a school garden that is nearly a half-acre in size and devoted to horticultural therapy, science education and organic vegetable production (the Growing Minds Garden). Under the guidance of a full-time garden coordinator, students study the life and earth sciences as well as organic growing practice through an inquiry-based, hands-on, service-learning approach. The produce grown is incorporated into meals served in the school’s dining room as well as prepared by students in the life-skills room and brought home to share with their families. Additionally portions of the garden have been designed to encourage quiet reflection, and are conducive to coaching, problem solving and horticultural therapy exercises.

The Growing Minds Garden benefits students by:

Education

Serendipity’s Growing Minds Garden is our living laboratory for hands-on science education and training in skills essential for independence. Inquiry-based learning occurs across grades and disciplines, as students practice effective communication, collaboration and creative problem solving. The diligence and tenacity required for completing tasks in the garden develop a work ethic that will serve students in all future endeavors.

Nutrition

Wellness depends upon many factors, including healthy eating, regular exercise, access to the outdoors, and experiencing joy. The Growing Minds Garden supports our holistic approach to wellness by engaging students in the practice of growing (and eating) fruits and vegetables without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. Serendipity’s School Meals Program, Life Skills Education Program, and Farm-To-Table Club are all supplemented by produce grown on campus.

Horticultural Therapy

As a therapeutic school, all aspects of our students’ experience are designed to promote healing, recovery and growth. Our garden invites students to choose physical work as a means of expressing emotions in a safe and productive way. It also offers a natural setting for coaching and quiet meditation where students witness the continuity of seasonal cycles of growth, maturation and change.

Sustainability

Serendipity aims to model values that support a healthy, just and fair society. Through participation in the design, creation and care of the Growing Minds Garden, students gain an appreciation for the impact of choices on our personal and collective well-being. Serendipity is committed to cultivating engaged citizens, dedicated to the stewardship of their communities and the environment.

Watch a brief video on Serendipity’s Growing Minds Garden: