Lettuce Challenge Registration

Greenwich 2nd graders can register to adopt and tend to lettuce plants for six weeks, as part of the Fairchild Challenge at the GEC, and participate in community showcase at the Garden Education Center in Cos Cob, CT.

Be sure to check our NEWS & UPDATES PAGE for Buttercrunch Awards 2016, CLICK HERE.


Timing for Greenwich Lettuce Challenge 2016

  • Final school enrollment deadline will be Wednesday, March 23, 2016, 5:00 pm
  • Two ways to register:
    • School online registration, NOW OPEN, click here to register online.  
    • In-person school registrationlettucechallengecalendar.  We will be available to help you and answer questions on March 23, 3:30-5:00 pm at the GEC, 130 Bible Street, Cos Cob.  Please RSVP to youth.director@gecgreenwich.org
  • Plant plug pickup for pre-registered schools, Wednesday, May 4, 2016, at the GEC, 10:00 am-4:00 pm
  • Finalists, deliver three plants per school to the GEC, June 15th, 9am-1pm, with entry forms
  • Showcase and Buttercrunch Awards, Wednesday June 15, 2016 at 4:00 p.m. in the Garden Education Center Gallery.
  • The GEC is seeking 2016 Buttercrunch Awards sponsors and volunteers, please email youth.director@gecgreenwich.org for additional information.


During the Lettuce Challenge, you can always click on the Lettuce Challenge logo on our front page to go directly to our news page where you will find registration links and common questions, and sponsorship and volunteer opportunities.




Coming up: microgardens & greens

Can’t wait until the frost date to get planting?  Need an excuse to explore early Spring in the park with the family?  The Garden Education Center is offering four opportunities this week for children to have fun and play in windowsill gardens, the GEC greenhouse, and the Montgomery Pinetum.

This Friday, join us for the kids version of our GEC Seed Starting  Workshop.

Sunday is the first day of Spring and we are offering a family abridged version of the GEC make your own hypertufa garden container.  Join our hands-on demonstration, as we try a new recycled newspaper recipe.  Details below, hope to see you then!


March 18th – The GEC hosts a fun Friday of planting seeds with little ones in the classroom

Mushrooms toddlers age 1-3 (with caregivers) 9:15-10:15 am PRE-REGISTER HERE
Sprouts age 3-8 (drop off) 3:45-5 pm PRE-REGISTER HERE

This is a fun hands-on way to learn the basics in indoor seed starting:  looking closely at soils, sands, and seed packets, and asking questions together about indoor seedling care. We will be planting microgreens in papercrete containers to take home and care for.  These small worlds are bright, cheerful, and nutritious!

Pre-register ASAP as we have limited supplies, $20/per child.

March 20th – First Day of Spring Family Playdate

Mushrooms age 1-3 with family 9:15-10:15 am
Sprouts age 3-8 with family 2:00-3:00 pm

Pre-registration required PRE-REGISTER HERE, please indicate morning Mushrooms, or afternoon Sprouts

Bring your family for a self-guided search for fairy and gnome homes in the Pinetum.  Come dressed up if you like!  Search among the unfurling ferns, mushrooms, and mosses for signs of Spring and hidden stamps and coloring sheets, with siblings, parents, and grandparents.  Our family friendly hands-on gardening demo in the greenhouse will show you how to make your own mini papercrete containers out of recycled newspaper.  They are great for microgreen or moss fairy gardens.  Come play in the park!

Pre-register ASAP as we have limited supplies, $20/per child.


Here are photos from our recent workshop on microclimates, terrariums and the soil web.  We had so much fun practicing scientific collecting, building and caring for habitats, and looking closely.  We were most inspired this month by the story of tree-climber, scientist, and arbornaut, Dr. Meg Lowman, and her tools, walkways, find, and adventures in the canopies.  Extra big thanks to our Garden Steward teen volunteers!

Together we are planting seeds for lifelong learning, healthy living, and green stewardship

Microclimates Workshop: We love terrariums!

This Friday we welcome Mushrooms (age 1-3 with Caregivers), 9-10 am, and Sprouts (age 3-8) 3:45-5pm to the GEC, for some fun nature play with microclimates!

IMG_3876Each young gardener will choose two terrarium plants from our greenhouse and build their own small green space to bring home.  Space is limited, so invite your friends and pre-register by Thursday 2 pm, and check out our upcoming family events and field studies too.  This is a super fun topic.  Since September we have introduced hundreds of terrarium plants from our greenhouse to nearby youth and teachers, offering new stewardship opportunities to toddlers, preschoolers, private science classrooms, and gatherings of friends.

Why does everyone LOVE terrariums so much?   We wonder:

10.  Is it because you can feel like you are holding a rainforest in your hands?
9.  Is it because you have your own small world to imagine and build in?

Continue reading Microclimates Workshop: We love terrariums!