In 1978, Ruth Antolini and her fourth grade class, planted a small garden plot in an abandoned corner of our school. That small garden was the seed of the very first Life Lab.
Green Acres' teachers and kids saw the wonderful tool that a garden and outdoor classroom could be to teach and learn the lessons of science. By spring of 1978 work began to turn what used to be a parking lot into a garden and outdoor science program.
There was a lot of work to do. The ground was so hard that it broke the metal ripper on the tractor when they tried to dig it up. That didn't discourage the people at Green Acres! Little by little the clay soil was loosened by hand. Students and teachers began to fertilize, plant and love the garden.
Life Lab was so successful here at Green Acres that other schools began to use the same idea on their own campuses. Life Labs sprang up first in Santa Cruz and now have spread to over 500 schools in the United States. There are even Life Labs in South America and India.
Thanks to the many people who had faith and trust in the vision of teaching children through touching and knowing the dirt of the earth, and the excitement of hands on science, our garden continues to teach future generations respect and understanding for the land.