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College Hill Learning Garden

learning garden entrance

The College Hill Learning Garden is an education and demonstration garden designed to teach local students about how they can help cities transition to ecologically friendly water, food, energy, and waste systems. Open to the public since April 2016, the garden is owned, maintained, and operated by the SFPUC. 

The Learning Garden contains dozens of interactive features, including a turtle pond, beehives, solar panels, a composting toilet, rain gardens, vegetable planters, and more. Located just off of Cortland Avenue in the Bernal Heights neighborhood, the site’s physical landscape was co-designed with the program's unique curriculum.

College Hill Learning Garden is available for class field trips, summer programs, and group tours and can accommodate up to 40 students (special arrangements can be made for larger groups). Field trips generally last two to three hours, while summer programs are 90 minutes long; both are free to any public school or organization serving public school students. Group tours of the garden can be requested for any group (student or adult), last 1 hour, and are available on Mondays and Fridays. See the events calendar below for all available dates and times. 


 kids hold plantings

The Urban Stewards Program

The Urban Stewards Program is based on eight unique topics, aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards and SFPUC Big Ideas. Classes are encouraged to come for the full series over the course of a school year or summer, but are also welcome to schedule just one field trip, a 3-part series, or a custom series designed to suit specific learning objectives.

The Urban Stewards Program topics are:

 Living City Heart

Living City Site Exploration

Come explore the College Hill Learning Garden through a self-guided scavenger hunt that brings each student through the seven main themes of city sustainability demonstrated on the site.

 Watersheds Our Healthy Watersheds

Learn about urban water systems, rainwater, and watersheds through exploration, modeling, and stewardship.
 Rain Gardens Rain Gardens

Discover how rain gardens are used as a tool to protect our watersheds through exploration of the three on-site rain gardens.
 Planting Healthy Planet Planting for a Healthy Planet

Learn how to take care of our environment through place appropriate planting by working with drought-tolerant and water-loving plants on site.
 Power in the City Power in the City

Learn about urban power generation by exploring renewable energy sources on-site and options for using power sustainably at school and at home.
 Urban Food Systems Urban Food Systems

Discover how to grow healthy, sustainable food in the city and help us care for our edible garden.
 Full Cycle Full Cycle, Zero Waste

Investigate how the city recycles materials by learning about our water catchment systems, compost bins, worm bin, and composting toilet (one of the city’s first).
Shared Habitat  Our Shared Habitat

Explore the various habitat examples on site and learn how to help create a biodiverse and interdependent city through stewardship.



panoramic view of learning garden 

Ready to book your field trip or tour of the garden? 

See the event calendar below for available dates and times, and to complete an online request form. An educator will contact you once your request has been received to coordinate further.



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Field Trip Requests

External link

Last updated: 11/4/2019 11:15:16 AM