Register with GEF for FREE to enjoy these great benefits! 

    • member only contests and raffles

    • sustainability program news and updates

    • significant discounts at GEF Institute

Note: If you have problems registering, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Taking a GEF Institute Course? Login by clicking here.






Join Us

Sign Up for National Green Week!
Please note: Your privacy is very important to GEF. We do not share or sell any of your data.  It is with the sole purpose of providing you with relevant information that GEF will contact you.
2014 Challenge Runner-up

V.H. Lassen Elementary School

Phoenix, AZ

Plan for Funding

Our raised bed gardens were established September 2013 to bring school/community together. Tending plants in our geography takes many hands.

Low desert creates two problems for gardens:  freeze December/January; drought and blistering sun June –September.  Additionally, gardens require irrigation on weekends, holidays, and school vacations.

Cobbled from a bare bones grant, four beds (4’x15’x6”h) were constructed. Subsequent grants added one bed and increased the height of all beds to 12”.  

Motivation and Impact

Gardens are a most recent addition to our Positive Reflections Club. The club is a food service entrepreneurial program in existence since 1983 on the grounds of a public elementary school. Students earn county health cards, manage a forty seat restaurant, and plan and prepare meals in our commercial kitchen. Also, students run a bakery from scratch to sweet dessert. We focus on teamwork, responsibility, and community service.


Garden to table complements PR Club’s intent to promote good nutrition. The kids enjoy planting, harvesting, and creating dishes served in their restaurant.  The garden is a wonder classroom for kids. Bringing vegetables from garden to kitchen for preparation causes some pretty big smiles. Joyful learning happens here on many levels.

We enjoy support from local and wider communities. School families helped to clear and build our beds. Our kids and family members built gardens in 2013 and maintain them today. University of Arizona Agricultural Extension supplies implements and seeds. Arizona State University, College of Sustainability students provide assistance as noted in photos.

PR Club celebrates community hosting special occasion dinners including Thanksgiving, Christmas, Mothers’ and Fathers’ Days, Spaghetti Fund Raisers, graduation dinners for Grade 8 students, and celebratory dinner for the student and families of our National Junior Honor Society. The garden serves us well.

We also host a graduation social for matriculating Kindergarten students and parents. They prefer cupcakes and ice cream! However, they enjoy drawing the flowers they see in the garden.

We appreciate the opportunity to participate in the Green Thumb Challenge.