Urban Farm and Garden

The Northwest School's 3,000-plus square foot Urban Farm and Garden adjacent to the school was designed and built by students. The garden helps provide vegetables and herbs for the dining hall throughout the year. Students in the Environmental Interest Group work together with three Environment Program teams and a small group of student Farm and Garden managers to maintain and water the raised beds throughout the school year and the summer.

Internship Opportunities
Urban Farm and Garden internships are available for rising 9-12th graders each summer, as well as current college students or recent college graduates throughout the summer and school year. Please contact Jenny Cooper if interested.


At a Glance

  • Over 300 students actively helped design and build the Farm and Garden.
  • Thirty planter boxes provide 3,000 square feet of growing space.
  • Over twenty varieties of fruits and vegetables are in cultivation throughout the year.
  • The harvest helps supply the Dining Hall Program as well as Seattle food banks with delicious, fresh vegetables.
  • The Farm and Garden offers summer internships for high school and college students.
Facilities Urbangarden1

A Space for Gardening

The Urban Farm and Garden includes 30 planter boxes, a greenhouse, multiple composting systems, a “treezeebo,” picnic tables, and a geodesic dome seating area. This space is ever-evolving, and is intended to be a student-managed outdoor lab, creative space, demonstration space for sustainable urban agriculture practices, and food producing space on campus.

Facilities Urban Garden02

Room to Grow

A greenhouse helps provide shelter from the winter elements for year round gardening.

I loved planning the garden with my Environmental Interest Group members and also setting up a table in the lunch line for people's thoughts about blueprint options. It surprised me how a small group can make a grand idea into an actual entity of our school.

Laila Kent

Class of 2018

Facilities Urban Garden04

A Canvas for Students

Students at The Northwest School continue to leave their visual mark on the Urban Farm and Garden. Public Art students painted worms onto the sides of the raised beds, students decorated rain barrels during the opening celebration of the West Court space, and have begun a mural in the new pop-up garden area. Former Public Art teacher Curtis Erlinger provided a highlight of the Urban Farm and Garden when he and his class converted an old basketball backboard into a sunflower overlooking West Court.

Facilities Urban Garden03

Placemaking Through Art

The West Court is flanked by two portico gate entrances. Each gate is adorned with a ceramic tile frieze, created by former Northwest School ceramics faculty Karla Leiberman and three classes of Upper School students. The tiles are themed "Unity in Diversity," reflecting our global student body. Professional tiler Don Fife donated his time to help seal the friezes to protect them from the elements. According to an article published by the Daily Journal of Commerce in April 1994, the school’s Capitol Hill neighbors agreed, saying “the open space has turned into a living part of the local street scape.”