Gardens provide great avenues for education on healthy lifestyles and the prevention of obesity and obesity-related diseases. Gardens are also living laboratories, offering hands-on experiences tied to Minnesota State Standards. 

A school garden committee consisting of teachers, the principal and Environmental Concerns members developed the Garden Vision & Mission.

Our Vision: The Congdon Park Community Garden will foster stewardship among students, teachers and community. Our students will learn cross-curricular content from sciences to the arts through best teaching practices and hands on learning. Students will also gain an understanding of nutrition and healthy lifestyles.

Our Mission: The Congdon School Garden is for students to learn how to grow, harvest and prepare healthy foods. We will explore healthy food in the garden, classroom, cafeteria, and community.


  • Provide kids with enriching, cross-curricular, hands-on outdoor learning experiences.
  • Utilize the garden to support standards-based learning.
  • Increase the use of the existing Outdoor Classroom upon returning to renovated school.
  • Raise students’ interest in healthy foods and willingness to try new fresh foods.
  • Engage students in the planning, growing and harvesting of fresh produce.
  • Cultivate ecologically, socially and sustainable-minded citizens.


  • Provide 3 school-wide garden events
  • Offer 3 school-wide cafeteria Taste-Testing days & 3 classroom Testings
  • Develop and teach at least 3 engaging K-2 lessons per grade that utilize the garden and are tied to: 

Minnesota State Standards

  • Engage at least 75 K-2 students in the planning, growing and harvesting of fresh produce
  • Provide 6 school wide Taste-Test or Garden Events impacting over 500 students Outcomes
  • More kids will incorporate fruits and vegetables into their diet.
  • 75% of the students will be more likely to try new foods by the third taste-test day
  • 90% of participating K-2 students will increase their understanding of good nutrition and the origin of fresh food
  • To increase teacher garden participation by 100% after the pilot project.
  • At least 100% increase in student participation with garden planning, growing and harvesting the second year of the project The outcomes will be measured by a pre and post student survey, reduction in food waste, and lesson evaluations.  

Special Thanks:  Congdon was awarded a School Garden & Food Literacy Grant through the Duluth Community Garden as part of a Community Transformation Grant from the Statewide Health Improvement Program. 

Gardenbackgroundinfo..pdf (1019k)