5 Simple Steps for a
FALL Garden Clean-Up Celebration
Fall is the ideal time to garden. Cleaning out garden beds, cutting dead flowers and raking leaves prepare our Outdoor Classrooms for winter. Want to get a jump start on your Spring garden and do some community building at the same time? Consider hosting an Outdoor Classroom Fall Clean Up Celebration. Here are 5 Easy Steps to get you started.
STEP ONE: Brainstorm Garden Jobs and Create 5 Work Stations
Gather a Focus Group that will manage and organize your event. It’s very important to be very clear about what your needs are as families are giving up their time to help. There is nothing more frustrating than an unorganized event.
Brainstorm the tasks that need to be done. Create workstations with signs.
Here are a few samples:
- Planting additional plants
- Bulb Planting
- Scarecrow Making
STEP TWO: Advertise your Celebration with a fun flyer.
Many hands make light work. Get the word out about your event. These events help build community and offer a fun and fabulous volunteer opportunities for
When you garden, you grow!
Great News! We have a Children’s Garden and Outdoor Classroom at Cove School!
- On Monday, September 12 come to join in the garden prep for Fall and Winter afterschool in the Children’s Garden.
- Participate in weeding, composting and planting additional plants
- DONATE BULBS, HARDY MUMS AND/OR A PUMPKIN.
- BRING TROWELS, SHOVELS, GARDENING GLOVES AND A SMILE.
- MAKE A SCARECROW.
- Please note: all children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian
- Questions: Victoria Hackett: email@example.com
STEP THREE: Gather Supplies, Create Work TEAMS and Team Leaders
It takes a village to create a school-wide Outdoor Classroom. Organizing “Work Teams” is a great way to focus the energy of volunteers and get all the tasks completed efficiently while having a lot of fun.
1. Compost Team. This team is in charge of filling up wheel barrels and dumping compost into garden beds. Consider the Newspaper Method if you are simply beginning and outlining the design of your new garden beds. Children love getting dirty, shoveling, carting and spreading compost into each garden.
2. Weeding Team: Team Leaders explain what a weed looks like. Providing different pictures of weeds vs. plants is always a good idea. Simply direct children to an area that needs attention and start pulling.
3. Planting additional plants Team: Team Leaders explain where the plants should be planted. Hardy Mums and bulbs are terrific Fall planting options.
4. Scarecrow Making Team: Team Leaders arrive with supplies for scarecrow making. Providing old kids clothes are perfect for this activity. This is a super fun activity and transforms every garden.
5. Pumpkin Decorating Team: Have families donate pumpkins. If you have enough pumpkins, invite children to decorate them. Have the Scarecrow and Pumpkin teams work together in making a fun Fall display next to the Garden Welcome Sign.
BONUS: Add Donuts, Cider, Apples, Coffee and Tea! Food always adds to the celebration!
STEP FOUR: Refurbish Garden Signs
I can’t say enough about how important it is to have signs in your Outdoor Classroom. If you have an existing garden, take your signs out and plan to refurbish & paint them for the next season. It’s important to have the following signs.
- Welcome sign & name of your garden program
- Sign representing the name of each type of garden bed (this can be themes or types)
- Smaller signs labeling each plant’s name
If you don’t have time at the Fall Clean- Up Celebration, this activity is also great to do during the Winter Months.
STEP FIVE: Clean out your Garden Shed
If you are lucky enough to have a Garden Shed in your Outdoor Classroom, don’t forget to do a Fall clean out. This is the perfect time to sharpen tools, label and create
an ideal outdoor learning potting shed. Have Fun!
Many of my most favorite Outdoor Classroom memories have been from our Cove School Fall Clean-Up Celebrations. The children’s enthusiasm was infectious. Witnessing them covered in dirt in the compost pile was priceless. Make sure you take pictures of your event and share with your community. Plan your Fall Outdoor Classroom Clean-Up Celebration today!
Do you have a question about how to plan a Fall Clean Up event? Do you have additional ideas? Activities? or Tips? Share them below in a post.
Do you want to learn more? Check out The TEACHING IN THE DIRT: Becoming a Natural Teacher e-Course.
Teaching in the Dirt: Becoming A Natural Teacher is a guide that fosters teaching and learning outdoors while consciously digging deeper to reframe the way we teach. This e-course maps out three stages of Becoming a Natural Teacher and cultivates new ways of thinking, learning, and teaching OUTDOORS!
If you have any questions, please email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I love hearing from you and would love to help out any way I can.
Happy Fall Gardening!