Established in 1980, the LPS Greenhouse and the Exploratory Horticulture Program offers students an innovative hands-on approach to learning valuable life, work and problem-solving skills. Through the program students are exposed to a diverse horticulture curriculum, which explores the art, science, care, business and cultural value of plants. The result is a unique educational context in which students use skills learned to become independent thinkers and gain confidence to move forward in all aspects of their life.

One of the unique qualities of the Exploratory Horticulture Program is its ability to create a cross-curriculum hands-on perspective through teachable moments. We recognize that students have different learning styles and our objective is to expose students to different learning perspectives. We achieve this through experiential learning opportunities, working closely with other school departments and by integrating school-wide learning strategies.


In our organic working greenhouse, students learn work, life and entrepreneurial skills. They propagate and care for annual and perennial plants, develop products, run an integrated pest management program (beneficial bugs), maintain the greenhouse and develop customer service skills as they sell plants to the surrounding community.


Through our landscape program students maintain and enhance the grounds of the school through mulching, making seasonal planters and developing gardens. In this work the students learn the art, science and business of this vocation through an understanding of plants, soil, design and basic business functions. Students also learn about community and what it means to have a clean and healthy environment in which everyone can learn and work.

Garden to Table

Students propagate, grow and learn how vegetables are an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Students then harvest the vegetables from our raised planter beds and bring them to our Culinary Services Program where they learn to prepare and use them in recipes for the school lunch program. In our first year (2014) students harvested 475 lbs. of vegetables which went directly into school lunches.


Students in the LPS Culinary Services classes participate directly in the school's lunch program.  This includes food preparation, serving and clean up on a daily basis.  Many students are engaging in activities for the first time, such as cracking eggs for a particular recipe or helping make lasagna or sandwiches.  This elective not only offers them a glimpse of working in a commercial kitchen, but teaches them practical skills that will last a lifetime. 

This program teaches students the art of uniting nutritional sciences with cooking solutions for practical menu planning that promotes optimal health and well-being.  This course offers students life skills in planning, preparing and cooking foods and meals that support healthy minds and bodies through nutrition and healthy eating.

Skills Learned:

  • Kitchen tools, types and uses
  • General kitchen maintenance
  • Basic kitchen sanitation and safety including proper hand washing, understanding cross contamination and increased awareness of danger zones in the kitchen
  • Daily Lunch preparation including, but not limited to, food production, service and clean up
  • Washing, cutting, peeling, paring vegetables; chopping and dicing of meats and vegetables; the mixing and measuring of recipes (baked goods as well as cooked goods)
  • Proper skills and behavior on a cafeteria/special order service line
  • Proper use of kitchen equipment

To complement our approach to food, we are delighted to partner with the horticulture department and incorporate produce grown on campus by students into school lunches. We have been able to offer salads with fresh grown and roasted beets, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots and many more veggies. Last year our organic garden produced twenty-four different vegetables and herbs, including Kale, chard and squash which made their way into calzones, onto pizza, into pasta, and into sauces and dressings with garden-grown herbs. Words can hardly describe the excitement this brings to our community.

Please contact the kitchen with any questions you might have about our program.

Thank you,

Seth Bernier

Food Service Director


Joseph Newton


Crystal Scott 



                             Seth Bernier

                    Food Services Director  

Visit our Greenhouse Open to the public!

Monday - Friday (all school year)

8:00 AM - 2:30 PM

Saturday (April 29 - June 3)

9:00 AM - 12:30 

*CLOSED April 14 - April 21 and May 29

Don't miss our 

2017 Annual Spring Plant Sale 

March 27 - June 9

Annual Plant Sales:

Our annual plant sales help us connect to and educate the larger community. All proceeds support the LPS Exploratory Horticulture Program.

Spring Plant Sale:
March – June

Fall Plant Sale:
September – October

Holiday Plant Sale:
End of November – December

Horticulture tips:
  •  Add compost to your soil to help add organic matter for better moisture control, to develop soil fertility and to strengthen plant roots.
  • Use a rain barrel to collect water from your roof. A 1” rainfall event on a 1000 sq. ft. roof can collect 600 gallons of water!
  • Mow your lawn at a 3-4” height to help develop deeper root systems, shade out weeds and retain moisture in the soil.
  • Remember, all plants are not created equal. Always do your homework to understand their requirements such as soil, light, maturation size and their hardiness zone.


We are passionate about the educational and horticultural work we do and are always excited to share it with the community. Contact us, visit the LPS Greenhouse and Nursery, buy a plant or just enjoy the environment our students have created.

Peter Hinrichs

Sandra Browne

617.965.0764 ext. 814

Peter Hinrichs, 

Learning Prep School Horticulturalist

Learning Prep School provides an individualized language-based program to students with complex learning profiles, including dyslexia, expressive/receptive language issues, autism spectrum disorder, and social communication disorder.

1507 Washington Street  |  West Newton, MA 02465  |  (617) 965-0764  |  contact  |  © 2017 Learning Prep School

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