School gardens and garden systems provide a medium for hands-on instruction and living learning opportunities which transcend the boundaries of the conventional classroom. Gardens and outdoor learning areas provide mechanisms to enhance internal and external partnerships within a school, increase access to students of all learning styles, and foster results in student achievement, nutrition, and physical wellness as shown in research. CCSD recognizes the importance and impact of gardens on student learning and as a result, has created some guidance to help faculty, staff, and community partners with their establishment, operation, and long-term sustainability in Charleston County School District.
Resource Allocation Request (RAR) Process
With the development of gardens, any phase, ranging from initial siting to existing garden expansion, or related garden structure/asset needs to be submitted for approval through the CCSD Resource Allocation Request (RAR) process. By informing CCSD Facilities and Operations personnel of your intent to establish and/or expand an existing garden, gardens can be sited in areas for students and staff that do not have future plans for development, pose health or safety risks, obstruct utility or fire access, have poor drainage, etc. This process serves to protect the interests of all parties involved by facilitating open communication about garden projects which require time, resources, maintenance, establishment, removal, etc. affecting both CCSD personnel and school/community personnel involved in the garden program.
- Any and all gardens, no matter the size, are considered a modification to a school’s grounds regardless of whether they are placed on top of the grounds or in the ground as they will utilize space and resources at the facility in which they are installed.
- This same process applies to greenhouses, sheds, wooden or metal structures, outdoor classroom areas, rain barrel systems, etc.
- When in doubt as to whether or not an outdoor project is considered a garden project or qualifies as a "grounds modification," submit a Resource Allocation Request (RAR) to receive clarification.
Resource Allocation Request (RAR) (this link requires employee login) can be found on the intranet under the Maintenance Department page (this link requires employee login). The RAR submission is an internal CCSD process and as such, can only be filled out and submitted by a CCSD staff member. To properly complete the RAR process, the following information below should be provided by the submitter into SchoolDude as a work order under Operational Services (problem type). Once the RAR is submitted, it will be routed to the District’s Sustainability Coordinator for evaluation and inclusion of other applicable personnel when necessary.
If a school is working with a Community Partner, the RAR submission will not be approved unless the Community Partner has an approved Garden Program Proposal on file for the school location for which the RAR is being submitted.
Checklist of information for Resource Allocation Requests (RARs)
- Garden purpose
- Garden type/theme
- Funding source
- Grade levels to be served or number of students to be involved on average
- Desired site location on grounds
- Dimension or size of plot(s)
- Existing or required assets for garden project (i.e. sheds, greenhouses, rain barrels, etc.)
- Utility needs (i.e. power, water, etc.)
- Name of primary on-site administrative sponsor (i.e. principal or assistant principal)
- Name of primary on-site garden coordinator (i.e. CCSD teacher or staff member responsible for garden project)
- Name of who will install garden
- Name of who will be responsible for maintenance and removal of garden in the event of project/program discontinuance
- Community Partners or volunteers involved in garden project
Utility requests requiring the provision of new power or water lines may significantly delay the approval process depending on the availability of funding, time, and resources in the CCSD Department of Facilities Maintenance and Asset Management (FM&AM). Requests will be fulfilled in the order in which they are received District-wide for similar requests.
For questions, assistance, or additional information on the garden establishment and siting process, please contact Plant Operations at (843) 789-0172 or (843) 371-2115.