Planning and Preparation

gardening planning prepration

On the day of your soilSHOP, some residents will arrive with bags of soil to participate in the free screening, and others may just stop by out of curiosity. This toolkit provides resources to help with the planning and logistics leading up to this moment, so you are prepared to welcome and engage all visitors into your soilSHOP.  Materials in this toolkit can be adapted and modified to meet specific community needs, interests and available resources. Planning an event can take 3-5 months, and include milestones such as a kick-off call with your soilSHOP planning team, establishing a date and location for your event, conducting a site visit, and creating a staffing plan.


Special Considerations


  • Integrate the soilSHOP with another local event as a way to increase exposure, attendance, and impact, and to reduce the overall cost of implementing the event.  Consider joining with:
    • an annual lead prevention/awareness week;
    • an Earth Day event;
    • a community health day;
    • a community-based urban gardening initiative;
    • farmer’s market events;
    • Brownfields and land reuse engagement efforts;
    • school-based programs and initiatives. 
  • Coordinate with the organizers of these events well in advance of the event date to discuss the benefits of adding a soilSHOP to their program.

Plan a site visit

  • Arrange a meeting with local partners to review the selected site and meet the local site manager. This visit will focus on site logistics, including space requirements and availability, parking, electricity requirements, restroom availability, ingress/egress, security, and related factors.
  • Bring a camera and measuring tape to the site visit.
  • Record information, concerns, opportunities, and other details to share with the planning team.


  • Consider the skills and interests of your soilSHOP team and partners who have expressed interest in staffing the event. Review the soilSHOP staff roles and discuss with your team the staffing assignments.
Toolkit Resources for Planning and Preparation

Example soilSHOP Planning Timeline Cdc-word[DOC – 51KB]

Example Staff Roles and Functions Cdc-word[DOC – 35KB]

Example soilSHOP Equipment and Printed Materials Checklist Cdc-excel[XLS – 31KB]

The Example soilSHOP Equipment and Printed Materials Checklist is a tool that can help you keep track of the physical components of a soilSHOP, from the tables and chairs to the Log In Forms (Log In Form.pdf) and Sample Labels (Example soilSHOP Sample Labels.docx). This tool can be used as a guide to develop a unique list for your event, establish how many of each printed material or resource needs to be prepared, and keep track of who is providing what to ensure you have everything you need on the event day.

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Page last reviewed: July 11, 2016