1. Kid gardens must be kid-based.
This means that kids help generate the ideas for what will be there, help with construction and planting, and are responsible for maintenance. Grown-up’s need to facilitate and show how, but not do everything. Focus on the process of involving them, and they will then take ownership.
2. Develop the garden to be appropriate for the site and regional conditions.
Involve the kids in the site analysis process so they understand how important the light, soil, drainage and other environmental factors are to having a garden. Develop the garden so the features and plant choices are adapted to local conditions, so you are not “working against nature.”
3. Focus on functional garden design, not how it will look.
Start the design process by determining what the children want to be doing and learning in the garden. Base the features on the practical functions they will serve, and don’t worry too much about aesthetics. Gardens that serve as hands-on learning laboratories for kids will be beautiful because they are well-used and well-loved spaces. Also remember that the children’s sense of what is pretty may not be yours; that’s ok because the garden is their space.
Learn more about community gardens with these books
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† Available from the LA Public Library