As schools work to include more local and fresh fruits and vegetables in school lunches, school gardens have become much more common. Nonetheless, it can become difficult to keep a school garden going and to secure funding and interest. The School Garden Support Organization Network (SGSO) is an online community that allows school garden professionals to share tips and their own stories in an effort to get gardens into as many schools as possible. Check out the Promising Practices site for resources for key activities for School Gardens Support Organizations.
SGSO has a wide variety of resources that promote collaboration among professionals and a number of ways to get more involved. Firstly, the online forum allows professionals to reach out to each other to ask more specific questions in an accessible way.
Secondly, the SGSO website has a list of webinars and virtual gatherings. Some of the events include School Garden Support Systems, Food Service and School Gardens, and Funding and Sustainability Solutions among many other topics. This allows prospective school garden coordinators to find resources and answers to possible questions.
For those that want in-person gatherings, there are a number of opportunities throughout the year. This includes the Growing School Gardens Summit in April and the annual Leadership Institute. These meetings include a number of speakers from across the country and several success stories from school gardens.
Finally, SGSO encourages school garden professionals to connect in additional ways. They have an email list to join as well as several social media accounts. All of this is in hopes of expanding the growth of school gardens across the country as well as finding best practices and innovative ways to make the most out of resources they have.