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We can always use a hand with the maintenance of our school gardens and playgrounds. Feel free to help weed or pickup litter whenever you have some spare time. New this year we are launching an "adopt-a-bed" program for families who want to garden together on a regular basis. You will be able to choose one of our small gardens and a plaque will go up in your name. We also have campus beautification days throughout the year that we post on LivingTree. For more information on how you can help out contact our sustainability chair, Garret Nick at or click the button below.

About our Sustainability &
Garden Committee

Our Sustainability & Garden Committees come up with programs to encourage environmental responsibility and healthy living for our children. They are always in need of helping hands year-round to help maintain our school gardens and grounds. It’s a great way for families to spend time together outside!Here’s a few ways you can help out:

  • Every Friday after drop-off, please spend a few minutes weeding our gardens, or picking up litter

  • Join the Sustainability or Garden Committee to help plan projects and curriculum

  • Donate plants, tools or supplies

  • Adopt-A-Bed” for your family at no cost. Look for “Adopt-A-Bed” signs at each of the 38 gardens around the school grounds and choose one. Gardens can be co-adopted by two or more families. Adopted beds will have an engraved name plaque acknowledging you and your family’s hard work.  Families or Groups are expected to:

    • Weed garden monthly and place in compost in garden

    • Prune existing plants or plant new drought-resistant native plants

    • Mulch twice a year (supplied by city on Park Clean Up days)

    • Fertilize garden twice a year (optional)

    • Communicate with teacher if it’s a classroom plot


Nearly a decade ago, Jerry “Jabo” Dean, a retired U.T. Music Professor, began volunteering his time to garden with his grandson’s Zilker Elementary kindergarten class. Jabo has been gardening with every kindergarten class since then.


In 2014, the owners/chefs at Odd Duck approached the school and offered to help expand the garden. Odd Duck is deeply committed to supporting and serving locally sourced food and wanted to pass along its passion for food and sustainable farming to a new generation. Thus was born Jabo’s Garden at Zilker Elementary.

Click below to visit Odd Duck!

Mission &


The mission of Jabo’s Garden is to create and sustain an organic edible garden and landscape that is fully integrated into the school’s culture, curriculum, and food program. Our aim is to give students a place to learn about and experience the connections between their actions, their health, their community, their environment and of course, their taste buds.



  • Promote healthy eating and physical activity

  • Support and enhance all areas of study by creating an outdoor learning space and an integrated gardening curriculum

  • Be an example of sustainable environmental practices and the foundation for a greater environmental education for our students, faculty, families and community

We partner with PEAS, a non-profit that strives to educate schools on agriculture, nature and sustainability.

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