We Are Hiring! Full-time Garden Coordinator

Job Announcement, November 2015

Garden Coordinator

Lower Columbia School Gardens

Lower Columbia School Gardens (LCSG) is a non-profit organization in Cowlitz County that helps schools start and sustain dynamic, thriving garden programs. LCSG has helped create and sustain 13 school gardens in Southwest Washington, and engages over 3,000 students each year in hands-on, garden based learning activities. Find out more on our website, http://www.lowercolumbiaschoolgardens.org/.

The Garden Coordinator facilitates a wide variety of hands-on learning for children in multiple school gardens by leading a wide variety of garden-based learning activities, including teaching garden and cooking lessons tied to curriculum standards. The Garden Coordinator promotes the LCSG mission with our partners, stakeholders and the general public. This is a full-time, 40 hour per week position with occasional evening and weekend hours.  We are seeking a kind, creative, energetic person who is passionate about real food, kids, plants, and soil.

Essential Functions:

  • Develop and facilitate garden-based lessons and activities for elementary and middle school children including cooking lessons, arts and crafts activities and lessons tied to curriculum standards
  • Recruit, coordinate and retain LCSG volunteers
  • Integrate garden-based curricula into existing educational settings
  • Create and share garden resources for teachers, children and garden volunteers such as planting guides, lesson plans and volunteer training resources
  • Promote LCSG through marketing, social media, community outreach, teacher and parent engagement
  • Coordinate LCSG events such as fundraisers, volunteer appreciation events, harvest festivals, produce sales, after-school garden clubs, community outreach and others
  • Participate in program evaluation and research
  • Collect and maintain data on volunteer and student participation and other metrics
  • Participate in fundraising and grant writing to support the on-going work of LCSG
  • Perform garden maintenance tasks—watering, weeding, mulching, soil and compost, cleaning and organizing garden classrooms, sheds and outdoor spaces
  • Maintain a working knowledge of significant developments and trends in the school garden field


  • High School diploma
  • Bachelor’s degree in relevant field preferred
  • 2 years in environmental education or children’s program development, or equivalent experience and skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop successful outdoor education programs, and facilitate hands-on learning and dynamic programming for elementary through middle school children
  • Strong interpersonal skills, leadership and teamwork
  • Excellent writing and communication skills
  • Ability to work independently
  • Experience with volunteer management
  • Event planning and coordination experience
  • Flexible, and ability to thrive in a fast-paced, sometimes unpredictable setting
  • Proficiency with computers and basic software programs including google drive, Microsoft office
  • Experience working with diverse populations and across disciplines (parents, teachers, school garden staff, community members, students)
  • The ability to lift 25 lbs, operate garden tools (shovels, wheelbarrows, etc.), assist in construction (retaining walls, garden beds, trellises, sheds, etc.)
  • Willingness to work in an outdoor environment in a variety of weather conditions
  • Driver’s license and willingness to drive LCSG vehicles

Compensation: $12/hr.

Position is open until filled.

To apply for the position, please email a cover letter and resume to Ian Thompson, Executive Director for Lower Columbia School Gardens at ian@lcschoolgardens.org.

If you have questions, please contact Lauren Henricksen, henricksenl@co.cowlitz.wa.us or 360-414-5599 ext. 6434.

Download PDF:  Garden Coordinator Job Description

October is for Harvest Festivals

The month of October was chock full of fun and goodness in the world of School Gardens. Most months of the year we delight in bringing real food and hands-on learning to hundreds of students on a weekly basis, but do you know what makes October so special?…

Harvest Festivals!

School Garden Harvest Festivals only happen once a year and call for “all hands on deck” to make them work. That means all of our School Garden volunteers, PTO members, staff, AmeriCorps members, parents and many of our board members show up to help. This year, our biggest year yet, nine elementary schools were able to participate.

That means every student at those 9 schools:

  • made and drank fresh apple cider
  • ground corn into cornmeal and wheat berries into flour
  • ran the straw bale obstacle course
  • shucked fresh corn
  • ate roasted garden veggies and corn-on-the-cob
  • listened and danced to live music
  • learned more about real food

…all in their School Gardens.

Once again, none of these opportunities for our local students to experience real food and hands-on learning could happen without the support of so many people and businesses in this community. Thank you!

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Farmer Randy donates 700 pumpkins to School Gardens

There were even-happier-than-usual kids in many Kelso and Longview School Gardens last week as After School Garden Clubs had the opportunity to carve locally-grown pumpkins. 700(!) pumpkins were donated by Woodland farmer Randy Behrendsen who was happy just to know they were going home with kids. Members of the LCSG board, LCSG staff and a slew of volunteers met in Woodland early on a Saturday to load pumpkins into trucks and deliver them back to school gardens in Longview and Kelso.



A young volunteer helps decide on the best pumpkins for loading








During the following week, kids in elementary and middle school gardens throughout the area got the chance to carve, decorate and take home their donated pumpkins. Students also enjoyed freshly roasted pumpkins seeds and made-from-scratch hot cocoa with their pumpkin carving.


Kids carve pumpkins and enjoy homemade hot cocoaCarving pumpkins at StH #2






Students carving pumpkins at MMS Carving pumpkins at HMS