Learning in the Garden


Created for the Stanford family, the Arizona Garden was never meant for learning. But, today, Stanford students learn, explore, and get inspired in the garden.

Wild Writing

I think when they are in these more wild spaces, they can feel in a more immediate and intense way, how their words are a kind of holy container for what they love.

Dr. Emily Polk
Try an Activity from Wild Writing! Click the image or the link in the main body text.
Try an Activity from Wild Writing! Click the image or the link in the main body text.

Wild Writing (EARTHSYS 149) is taught by Dr. Emily Polk & Dr. Richard Nevle.

In Wild Writing, students explore their relationship to nature and why it matters. Students read influential works of environmental writing and scholarship, centering the voices of diverse writers and scholars. Their culminating project is a narrative non-fiction essay about what nature means to them.

Click here to try an activity from Wild Writing.

Click here to read student essays.

The Human-Plant Connection

It's good to introduce Stanford students to this special place, which they can visit any time. The garden is also a perfect fit for my class because it demonstrates several concepts I try to teach.

Dr. Katherine Preston
 Try an Activity from The Human-Plant Connection! Click the image or the link in the main body text.
Try an Activity from The Human-Plant Connection! Click the image or the link in the main body text.

The Human-Plant Connection (HUMBIO 113) is taught by Dr. Katherine Preston.

The Human-Plant Connection explores the intertwined biologies of humans and plants. Students dive into the existing scholarly research to study evolution and plant biology, agriculture and domestication, and the role of plants in our diets, among other topics. Students produce essays and multimedia presentations for their in class work.

Click here to try an activity from The Human-Plant Connection.

The Rhetoric of Plants

We gathered there to grow closer and build trust as a class -- something important especially for a writing class, which can grow personal at times. It made the material of the class feel so much more real and even more relevant.

Margot H., a PWR 1JSA student
Students in The Rhetoric of Plants explore under the central tree yucca during a field trip to the Arizona Garden.

The Rhetoric of Plants (PWR 1JSA) is taught by Dr. Jennifer Stonaker.

In this class, students use plants as a lens to explore, research, and write about different aspects of our world. For their final research-based essay, students have written about the importance of food sovereignty for indigenous communities, using biofuels to combat climate change, and the controversy around how to save the American Chestnut.


Arizona Garden Day Poster

View the original poster that was presented at the Arizona Garden Day on June 3, 2023. All of the information on this poster is included on the page above. The image can be enlarged by clicking on the "View larger" button below the image.

Learning in the Garden poster presented at the Arizona Garden Day on June 3, 2023.