Challenge 4: School Garden – A Sense of Calm

For Groups — Maximum points: 400 (1 entry per school)

YOUR CHALLENGE: Gardens offer many benefits. They have the ability to improve moods, concentration and can decrease anxiety, especially in children. In particular, sensory gardens can increase the level of interactions with the outdoors while helping to enhance sensory, motor and social skills for people of all abilities. Your challenge will be to design and implement a garden that appeals to: sound, sight, taste, smell and touch, and include plants of various shapes, sizes, colors and textures. Students will create a narrated video tour of their school garden showcasing how your garden increases sensory experiences and is accessible for all its visitors. Downloadable PDF

ENTRY SUBMISSION: Wednesday, March 30, 2022 by 5:00 pm

Electronically submit the following:

  • Video uploaded to YouTube and Video URL to entry form
✓  Entry Requirements:
 Video opening credits include school name, “Challenge 4” and “2021–2022” and a list of participating students and classes that were involved in creation of this entry
 Narrated video tour of Sensory Garden is 10 minutes or less that is uploaded to YouTube
 Sensory Garden identifies an appropriate location within your school community and includes development and installation of interpretative signage

Garden Design must be an original hand-rendered or computer-generated (2-D flat) design created by students. Design cannot be larger than 8.5″ x 11″, must be in full color and uploaded to entry form

 Video includes description of how selected plants and garden design increases experience for at least one of the following: English as a second language learner, person with different learning ability and/or person with disability
 On-time entry submission (late entries may not receive points)

The Fairchild Challenge offers competitive garden grants to assist with your school garden efforts. The grant application is available at the beginning of the school year. Application deadline: Closed on Wednesday October 6, 2021. All recipients must submit an entry for Challenge 4 to be eligible for a Garden Grant.

OPTIONAL TEACHER WORKSHOP: Saturday, October 9 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Join Fairchild’s experts for the School Garden Workshop specially designed for teachers wanting to start a garden at home or at school. For more information, visit our Teacher Workshop page. 

For more information on how your submission will be evaluated, see Challenge 4 Evaluation Sheet

This Challenge meets various state standards, visit Challenge 4 Benchmarks

UF/IFAS Gardening Solutions: Sensory Gardens
Royal Botanic Gardens Kew: How to Create a Sensory Garden
Worden et al: How to Design an Accessible Sensory Garden
American Horticultural Therapy Association: Therapeutic Garden Characteristics
ELS for Autism: The Sensory Arts Garden

Miami Seed Share (Facebook page)