About Us

What we do!

The Boise Urban Garden School (BUGS) is a specialized, inquiry-based education organization. We strive to provide students with unique learning experiences by utilizing an organic garden setting. Since our founding, we have been dedicated to providing students with knowledge through “real life” experiences, and each year we are able to serve approximately 6,500 local youth and families through a variety of educational programs. We know that a student who is able to dig in the soil, plant a seed, and watch it grow will be excited to eat the fruits of their labor, and will better understand the science behind a sprouting seed or the process of photosynthesis.

For more information on BUGS Programming, check out our BUGS FAQ information.


At Boise Urban Garden School our mission is to… Grow healthy communities and inquiring minds.


The Boise Urban Garden School (BUGS) is a specialized, inquiry-based education organization that utilizes an organic garden as the foundation for experiential based learning opportunities.

Through the garden and the culinary components of our programs, our vision is to help students make connections between environmental sustainability, healthy eating, and science in the garden. BUGS programming helps youth understand these relationships as they learn how to cultivate and nurture a plant grown organically from seed to harvest; incorporating the science behind gardening, and the environmental and nutritional benefits of growing their own garden at home.

BUGS Programming Objectives:

  • Help students discover how to plant and maintain an organic garden at home or at school
  • Explore nutrition in the kitchen to gain exposure to healthy foods that they can prepare at home
  • Understand the skills needed to create and sustain a small business through the BUGS farm stand
  • Overall, gain a deeper understanding of nature, food, and the power to make healthy choices for their bodies and the environment


Our Partnership

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Boise Urban Garden School (BUGS), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (tax ID #75-3139866), has entered into a partnership with the City of Boise to become a city program.  Working with the City of Boise Parks and Recreation Department, the BUGS program will increase access to local healthy foods in our community, support city services through capital improvement projects, implement and manage school and community gardens, education programs, and volunteer opportunities.



Boise Urban Garden School began in late 2002 as co-founders Wendy Young and Amy Hutchinson discussed the impacts that a youth gardening organization would have on children throughout the Treasure Valley.  Amy, a junior high school teacher, held that her most positive experiences with students occurred outside the classroom, planting gardens, taking nature walks, and collecting sagebrush seed in the Boise foothills. For Wendy and Amy both, the role the natural world, especially the family vegetable garden, played a large role in their childhood.

Dreams for a garden school began to take shape when Wendy and Amy received a call from a fellow gardener and a member of the Wright Congregational Church who had the idea to turn the extensive church grounds—then unused and un-landscaped—into a productive garden. Amy and Wendy formalized a proposal and presented it to the congregation, who was fully supportive and signed on as the fiscal sponsor for the first year.  The following spring, BUGS was ready to begin accepting registration to launched a seven-week summer gardening and literacy program for young people ages 10 to 16.

Since 2003 BUGS’ programming has expanded to include three summer program options for kids ages 6-16, one  and multi-day youth workshops and field trips in partnership with the local school districts, and we have created “Just Add Water” a tool-kit that helps schools to create and maintain a school garden program of their own.