Maria Montessori Charter Academy Community Garden

Reviewed by the Sacramento Region Community Foundation

$4,819 raised by 39 donors

80% complete

$6,000 Goal

In 2008, when Maria Montessori Charter Academy moved to its permanent home in Rocklin, one of the first programs created was the garden and outdoor classroom. We partnered with the adjacent church to use a portion of their land for a larger garden, in exchange for access to the beautiful space we planned. Our ultimate goal was to create an outdoor classroom and discovery lab for students to learn about nature, sustainability, and life cycles. Getting kids outside and in the dirt was essential. The plan was to incorporate the garden into all aspects of the student's curriculum, from science and math, to art and literature. Using the Montessori philosophy of learning that is experiential, the students would learn respect for the environment through discovery. Today the outdoor classroom has grown to include a 1/4 acre garden with perennial vegetables, native plants, fruit trees and vines, sixteen annual planting boxes, compost bins, a storage barn, bunnies, and a garden docent program. We keep all produce and soil organic, and aim to be sustainable by making soil through composting, and practicing seed saving. All of this work was accomplished solely through volunteer labor, donations, and fundraising.

Maria Montessori Charter Academy is a nonprofit, pre-K-8th grade public elementary school serving approximately 300 students in Rocklin, CA. The school integrates Montessori methodologies within the accountability and framework of the California state standards. This integration includes emphasizing individualized work plans, small ability-based groups for language arts and mathematics, multi-age classrooms, low student-teacher ratios, manipulative-based instructional materials, and an overall emphasis on developing the 'whole child.'


Our mission is to connect students with the natural world through our garden and outdoor classroom, to engage students with the seasonal rhythms of cultivating, growing and harvesting organic crops, to provide students with the tools and knowledge to become skilled gardeners, self-reliant citizens and responsible stewards of the Earth, and to introduce the students to agricultural practices, plant varieties, and cuisine from different cultures around the world.


Garden Docent Program: Through this program, our students learn hands on about planting and harvesting healthy foods. Funds for supplies, tools, and lesson materials estimated at $1,200 annually.

Garden Hardscaping: Immediate needs include purchasing new picnic tables, and building small greenhouses to raise seedlings estimated at $2,750.

Garden Maintenance & Repair: The wear and tear of hosting 300 students through the garden calls for soil and mulch replenishment, irrigation updates, and plant replacement estimated at $1,000 annually.

Bunnies & Vermiculture: We are lucky to have two bunnies as part of our garden family. The upkeep of the bunnies adds to our expenses, but the students love to watch and care for them. The family that generously built our bunny hutch designed it to capture the bunny's waste, and combined with the addition of worms, will create a rich compost for our garden. The upkeep of this program is estimated at $400 annually.

Healthy Food Prep Program: While we have been successful in establishing our garden docent program, we are ready to take the next step to use our bounty to promote healthy food preparation and nutrition. Our goal is to build the infrastructure and curriculum to begin a Healthy Food Prep Program utilizing the fruits and vegetables from the garden. Materials for lessons and supplies estimated at $2,500.

Equity Statement

As a public Montessori-based school, we believe that all children have an innate desire to learn and produce purposeful, meaningful work. Our goal is to provide a nurturing, cooperative learning environment that considers the whole child and encourages respect for self, others, the environment and all life. We will promote an educational environment that supports diversity in all its forms, including socioeconomic and cultural diversity.

Organization Data


Organization name

Maria Montessori Charter Academy Community Garden

other names


Year Established


Tax id (EIN)


Mission Category

Food, Agriculture & Nutrition

Operating Budget

$1,000,001-$5 million

Organization Need

Funding: Program

Demographics Served

General population

Local Counties Served

Placer, Sacramento

Equity Statement

Equity Statement


1850 Wildcat Boulevard
Rocklin, CA 95765

Service areas

Sacramento, CA, US

Placer, CA, US



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