Lesson plans and resources tailored for schools. Teacher packets include tips for long-term and short-term student engagement. All lessons are aligned with national standards. 

Featured Garden

Refugium Garden

Mother and son

Come autumn, my mother starts acting like her seventy-something year-old self – that is, grouchy, itchy, and nostalgic. The season has always been an…

The Smithsonian Gardens Green Ambassador Challenges introduce students to project-based learning in the real world, one garden at a time. Choose from one of two paths, or do both!

We encourage schools and teachers to undertake the full challenge and all steps involved in the design and/or research process of the projects. However, teachers can freely focus on individual lesson units within each packet for short-term engagement and inquiry.

For a less formal approach to either project please refer to the steps laid out on the challenge pages. Feel free to explore our Come Learn page for additional Smithsonian Gardens education resources. 

We want to hear from you! Email us at communityofgardens@si.edu if you would like more information on any of these programs, or help getting started.

Design a Green Space: Smithsonian Gardens Green Ambassador Challenge

Collage of gardens included in the Community of Gardens digital archive.

Become a Smithsonian Gardens Green Ambassador! Teens and students, empower yourselves to become local leaders by making your school or community...

Interview a Gardener: Smithsonian Gardens Green Ambassador Challenge

Collage of gardeners included in the Community of Gardens digital archive.

Become a Smithsonian Gardens Green Ambassador! This is a project about sharing wisdom, life experiences, and community history from a gardener’s...

Mobile App

Community of Gardens logo

Community of Gardens Mobile App Available Now! Connect with the stories in the Community of Gardens digital archive with our new...

A Democracy of Beauty for All: Highlights from the J. Horace McFarland Company Collection


J. Horace McFarland was a leading proponent of the City Beautiful Movement and president of the American Civic Association. Learn...

Grown from the Past: A Short History of Community Gardening in the United States

Hoop house with marigolds, arugula, and peppers growing. Heather McWane, photographer, 2009. Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, Garden Club of America Collection.

Dig in and explore the history of community gardening in the United States with this digital exhibit from Smithsonian Gardens.

An Italian-American Garden Story

Nicola Ranieri poses with his 3,400 artichokes on his mini farm

My father Nicola, emigrated to the United States in December 1965. He came to live with his brothers and sisters who had already established…