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Planting Knowledge. Cultivating Community.

Grow Education supports teachers, engages families, and educates students in creating healthier eating and living habits. In partnership with school districts, we are building a more equitable food system that promotes ecological literacy, health and sustainability.

Our Vision

To plant knowledge and cultivate community in every public school in New Bedford.

Our Mission

To educate students, support teachers and engage families within the New Bedford public school system, focusing on topics and opportunities related to ecological literacy, health and sustainability.

Our Method

Grow Education uses school gardens as a platform for experiential and project- based learning with programming that is inclusive of the surrounding community.  We work with New Bedford public schools and partner with community organizations to support the advancement of STEM curriculum while incorporating skills for healthy living and education on career opportunities in STEM-related fields.

Our Programs and Services

Grow Education has successfully built and developed programming through gardens at 12 New Bedford public schools. Unlike other school gardens, Grow gardens are community gardens located on public school property. In other words, we are providing a systemic approach uniquely supported across sectors, which means:

  • We can work outside of the constraints of the public school systems
  • We take a “community” approach to education,creating a partnership that exemplifies cross-sector service to youth in need
  • We build collaborative partnerships with people and through organizations who can help us to increase the impact of our work

Watch this fantastic and informative video all about GROW!

The Marion Institute’s Grow Education Program leads the classroom and curriculum portion of a Farm to School Project in partnership with New Bedford Public Schools and the New Bedford Food Service Department! With gardens in each of the 20 elementary school locations, professional development, and lesson plans supporting classroom activities, students are growing through each experience in the garden! Round The Bend Farm aerial images courtesy of Erik Kowalski – EDK Studios –

These urban gardens function as an “outdoor classroom” where students learn relevant lessons about earth science, environmental and agricultural sustainability and nutrition.

Grow’s eco-programming compliments and enhances current school curriculum, while advancing a regional understanding and connection to the potential for youth leadership to play in a vital role in the regenerative development of their city.

Grow Education Schools

John Avery Parker Elementary
New Bedford High School
Abraham Lincoln Elementary
Alfred J. Gomes Elementary
Betsy B. Winslow Elementary
Carlos Pacheco Elementary
Elizabeth C. Brooks Elementary
Elwyn G. Campbell Elementary
Ellen R. Hathaway Elementary
Hayden McFadden Elementary
Jacobs Elementary
James B. Congdon Elementary
John B. DeValles Elementary
Renaissance Community Innovation School
Sgt. Wm. H. Carney Memorial Academy
Sippican Elementary
Thomas R. Rodman Elementary
Trinity Day Academy High School
Wareham Elementary
Westport Elementary
William Taylor Elementary

GROW Education is proving that once the surrounding neighborhoods become engaged, the conversation about creating a healthy, sustainable ecosystem in the garden can naturally expand to the larger ecosystems surrounding those gardens. With evening and weekend workshops on everything from healthy food to sustainable energy use, GROW helps local schools fulfill their broader promise of strengthening the future for students, their families, and their surrounding communities.

Need Help Strengthening Your Community?
We offer consulting services for new and existing community garden and cross-cultural outreach programs.


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