Gardeneers is the only Chicago-based nonprofit providing full-service, customized school garden programs with on-going support. Each week, we provide schools with dedicated educators and garden resources to facilitate experiential learning, encourage connections with healthy foods, and ensure each garden’s unique success.

Share ALMA on Twitter
Share ALMA on Facebook
Share ALMA on LinkedIn
Share ALMA on Email

From the Co-founders & Executive Directors

Like most Teach for America alumni, Adam Zmick and May Tsupros first taught in under-resourced high schools. Their experiences working in food insecure communities lead them to realize how vital healthy food was to their students' growth, both in and out of the classroom.

In the fall of 2013, Adam and May met and joined forces to start Gardeneers. Designed to give students in food insecure communities equal access to healthy fruits and vegetables, Gardeneers is dedicated to school garden education in Chicago.

May Tsupros & Adam Zmick


What we do

Program 1

School Gardens

Each week, garden educators work with students in each of our school gardens focused on our three pillars: Supporting Student Nutrition, Experiencing Nature and Connecting with Communities. Students are involved in the full seed-to-table process: picking out crops, planting seeds, tending to plants and harvesting food to taste, cook or sell at Farm Stands. Our school gardens are living laboratories where students are active participants in their learning.

Program 2

Community Farm Stands

Farm stands connect our school garden programs to the surrounding community. Produce and flowers grown in our school garden programs are sold to parents and neighbors at affordable rates. Our student-run farm stands build community relationships as well as increase access to fresh produce in food desert neighborhoods.

Program 3


Chicago is one of the only cities in the United States with the policies in place to serve school garden produce to students in the cafeteria. Through certication in the CPS Eat What You Grow Garden-to-Cafeteria Manual, Gardeneers is able to harvest and safely serve produce grown in our school gardens to students.

How Gardeneers Was Started

After one of May Tsupros’ students, a high school senior, couldn’t identify a blueberry, she began to consider what her students were eating. Through first-hand observations, she witnessed how lack of healthy food was an obstacle to her students’ success. She started Gardeneers as a way for her students to take ownership of their nutrition.



Annual Budget
Year ended Dec 2017
Program Spend
Fundraising Spend
Management Spend
Co-founders & Executive Directors
May Tsupros & Adam Zmick
Chicago, IL
# Employees
# Volunteers


1 day ago - @gardeneerschicago

Tomorrow’s the day we will be heading out with @patagoniachicago for our New Belgium Fat Tire & Patagonia Outdoor Adventures. ☀️🌱🌻

Starting our day at their Mag Mile store our guests will receive a special 15% off their purchases. Then, with new gear in hand, we’ll head down to our TEAM Englewood garden to do a bit of work and see first hand the hard work our students have put in to that site. Finally we’ll head back north and end our day at Woodie’s Flat for some well deserved beers and apps courtesy of @newbelgium_chicago - We still have a few tickets left, $15 and all proceeds benefit our students and programs! See you soon! 🍻 . . . . #garden #schoolgarden #urbangarden #gardening #organic #eatlocal #growyourown #healthykids #chicago #chicagoyouth #local #organicgardening #urbangardenersrepublic #patagonia #patagoniachicago

3 days ago - @gardeneerschicago

Don’t forget this weekend is our Fat Tire Outdoor Adventures with Patagonia. 15% off at @patagoniachicago, refreshments provided by @newbelgium_chicago, a garden tour and little bit of gardening. All while directly supporting students and programs at Gardeneers! What could be better? The forecast is lookin fine😎 Grab your tickets in our bio and we will see you then! . . . . #garden #schoolgarden #urbangarden #gardening #organic #eatlocal #growyourown #healthykids #chicago #chicagoyouth #local #organicgardening #urbangardenersrepublic

1 week ago - @gardeneerschicago

Looking for the perfect Mothers Day gift? 🌷🌱Well our teens over at TEAM Englewood have got you covered. Come by tomorrow evening and support our students with the purchase of tulips & daffodils ($1) or some lovely bouquets ($10-$20) and show the moms in your life some love! We will also have cookies, 2 for a dollar! 💐🍪😋 4:45-6:45, 6201 S Stewart Ave. . . . . #garden #schoolgarden #urbangarden #gardening #organic #eatlocal #growyourown #healthykids #chicago #chicagoyouth #local #organicgardening #urbangardenersrepublic

1 week ago - @gardeneerschicago

Want to get 15% off on amazing @patagoniachicago gear while doing some great work? Come join us for the Fat Tire Outdoor Adventures with Patagonia on Saturday May 18th from 11 am to 4 pm! All of the proceeds of the event will go directly into garden programming for schools and you can reward yourself with a nice cold drink afterwards, courtesy of @newbelgium_chicago !

Get your tickets while you can at the link in bio!

#gardening #patagonia #fattire #newbelgium #coolevents #schoolgarden #urbangarden #edibleeducation

1 week ago - @gardeneerschicago

🍎🌱To all the teachers out there, for all that you are and all that you do... THANK YOU! #TeacherAppreciationDay . . . . #garden #schoolgarden #urbangarden #gardening #organic #eatlocal #growyourown #healthykids #chicago #chicagoyouth #local #organicgardening #urbangardenersrepublic

2 weeks ago - @gardeneerschicago

BIG NEWS! Gardeneers has been nominated as a finalist for Nonprofit of the Year by @ynpnchicago. Please share with your friends, family and network to vote for us! Voting ends this Tuesday May 7th. Link in bio to VOTE✔️! Thank you🌱 . . . . #garden #schoolgarden #urbangarden #gardening #organic #eatlocal #growyourown #healthykids #chicago #chicagoyouth #local #organicgardening #urbangardenersrepublic #nonprofit

2 weeks ago - @gardeneerschicago

Our wonderful Co-Founder, May Tsupros, was recently featured on Comcast Newsmakers segment talking about Gardeneers and the work we do in each of school gardens. 🌱One garden at a time! Thank you @comcast! . . . . #garden #schoolgarden #urbangarden #gardening #organic #eatlocal #growyourown #healthykids #chicago #chicagoyouth #local #organicgardening #urbangardenersrepublic #comcastillinois

2 weeks ago - @gardeneerschicago

This Saturday join us for our Second Annual Homan Rails Resource Farm Days. We will be hosting local community organizations at our Homan Rails Farm to bring health, wellness, and nature together in one place so that we can have a greater impact in our community.🌱 We hope to see you there! Admission is free, link in bio for more information or on how to get involved.🌻 . . . . #garden #schoolgarden #urbangarden #gardening #organic #eatlocal #growyourown #healthykids #chicago #chicagoyouth #local #organicgardening #urbangardenersrepublic #communityorganizing #homansquare #northlawndale

2 weeks ago - @gardeneerschicago

3 weeks ago - @gardeneerschicago

🌱🌎🌱 Happy Earth Day! We are so lucky to be instilling a love of nature in over 2000 students each week in our school garden programs. Do your best today (and everyday) to reduce, reuse, recycle and plant the seeds to make our earth a little greener . . . . . #earthday #everydayisearthday #schoolgarden #urbangarden #healthykids #growinghealthyfutures #growingschoolgardens

Chicago Rises

Students in Chicago Take To The Garden

It’s officially gardening season, and all around the city, Chicagoans are out tending to their plants. We all know the benefits of gardening: getting outside, engaging in moderate physical exercise, and, of course, growing your own veggies. Through the student-focused organization Gardeeners, students are getting to join in on the gardening fun. Founded in 2014 by two Teach For America alumni, Adam Zmick and May Tsupros, Gardeneers is an organization that exists “to give Chicago students in food desert communities equal access to healthy food and food education.” Working with students from Pre-K all the way to 12th grade, Gardeneers is impacting student lives around the city, one school garden at a time.


Where your money goes


$10/m supports student-run farmstands


$25/month supports 1 student receiving vital school garden education


$50/month provides all of the tools and materials for school garden for one growing season


$300 provides one year of garden education for one student