Health Benefits of Schooland Community Gardens Angela O’Callaghan, Ph.D. Assoc. Professor Area Extension Specialist Social Horticulture 702-257-5581
Goals of this presentation1. Identify the health impact of chronic disease in Southern Nevada2. Describe how good nutrition and physical activity can prevent chronic disease3. Describe how a school or community gardening project can improve nutrition and physical activity4. How to plan, implement and evaluate a gardening project5. Local resources for school and community gardens
Why are you here?• Desperate for another meeting?• Dying to know more about gardening in the desert southwest?• Need ceus?• Hoping for a free lunch?
% of Total Deaths (Nevada)• Heart disease 26.6• Chronic lower respiratory disease 5.6• Diabetes mellitus 1.6• Atherosclerosis 0.7 1
Chronic Disease in So. NevadaChronic diseases are leading causes of diminished quality of life in Clark CountyIn particular: – Cardiovascular disease – Cancer – Diabetes 1
Diabetes in Clark County• 8.8% of adults (>20 years old)• Highest rate in Nevada 1
Obesity among Clark County adults 24.5%almost one out of every 4 adults in Clark County is obese (BMI > 30 kg/m) 1
Obesity in Youth (Nevada)in 2007• 11% of high school students were categorized as OBESE.• 54% of high school students did not meet recommended levels of physical activityChanges in 2008• Fewer exemptions from Phys. Ed. Classes• More nutritious selections of food, snacks and beverages• Less advertising of unhealthy snacks 1
Health effects of plants• Ulrich, 1984• Horticulture Therapy• Healing Gardens
Physical activityReduces risks involved with• Diabetes• Obesity• HypertensionBy lowering weight and blood sugar levels (among other things) 2
American Heart Association news release• “Diet and exercise can prevent or slow the development of type 2 diabetes and produce clinically significant improvements in blood sugar control and cardiovascular risk factors in people with the condition, according to the statement. This benefit can reduce or eliminate some patients’ needs for medications to control risk factors. “• http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/reprint/CIRCU LATIONAHA.109.192521 (full text of statement) 2
Horticulture - art and science of growingflowers, fruits, vegetables, trees & shrubs development of minds and emotionsof individuals, enrichment & health ofcommunities and integration of `garden in thebreadth of modern civilization.•PLANTS and products (food, medicine, O2)essential for human survival; &•PEOPLE, whose involvement with `thegarden brings about benefits to them asindividuals and to communities and culturesthey comprise. 2
Direct benefits• Many commonly grown garden vegetables are high in phytochemicals.• Research indicates these plant chemicals have beneficial effects against inflammation, oxidative stress, cancer and cardiovascular disease.• Vegetables include: Onions, garlic, berries, soy, celery, and carrots. 3
“Incorporationof herbs into everydaymeals may be beneficial, as a diet inwhich culinary herbs are usedgenerously provides a variety of activephytochemicals that could promotegood health…” 2
Community gardens• Growing foods• Improving neighborhoods• Provide satisfying labor• Cultural traditions Hanna and Oh, 2000 3
What foods from where?University of Texas Online Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection
1989 survey of NJ gardeners Socioeconomic benefits of gardening Benefit PercentLife quality Fresh food/vegetables 44.4% Improved diet 35.2 Personal satisfaction and enjoyment 26.0Economic well-being Saved money 33.5Social well-being Socializing 31.3 Helping others 29.0 Sharing the produce with others 14.5 Feeling of self-sufficiency 13.8 Improved neighborhood 13.0 Patel, 1991
Community Gardening• Group of people comes together to create a garden• Usually a vegetable garden with a few ornamental plants• May have policies and procedures for – Selection of gardeners – $$$ – Standards of behavior – Replacing gardeners 3
Participants May Include • Elderly, either able bodied or infirm • Youth • Low income • Middle class 3
Increased vegetable intake• A survey of 776 adults in a US city found that when a household member participated in a community garden, other adults in the house were more likely to consume fresh fruits and vegetables – 3.5 times as likely to consume the recommended 5 a day.• Alaimo et al 2008
Gardening as Physical Activity• Once people become gardeners, they spend time and energy doing it!• Park et al (HortTechnology October- December 2008): Can older gardeners meet the physical activity recommendation through gardening?• Average gardening time = 60 min• Average heart rate = 98• Oxygen uptake = 13.5 ml/kg/min 3
Benefiting well-being• A sense of control over one’s environment is often predictive of good health and higher quality of life among the elderly. 3
Horticulture training for elderly adults in assisted living (Las Vegas research)•18 students•Age range from 75 – 102•16 women; 2 men•Mean – 85 years•All required either walker or wheelchair•Had demonstrated little/no interest in other programs 3
Experimental design•Four week course•After lunch•Each student received plants, pots, seedlings/seeds•Students were interviewed concerning their sense of mastery of their environment pre and post class (n = 18), and five months after end of class (n = 8) 3
Course Outline–Week 1 – staff describes class, interview students concerning personal history, mastery heath and happiness; students describe their apartments, their plant wishes, and gardening history–Week 2 – students receive plants and pots & instruction on maintenance–Week 3 – students receive seeds or seedlings and instruction; offer assistance to others–Week 4 – students evaluate their plants; staff re-interviews 3
Mastery of environmentStudents responded to statements:1. What happens to me in the future mostly depends on me....2. Sometimes I feel that I am being pushed around in life.....3. I have little control over the things that happen to me......4. There is really no way I can solve some of the problems I have....5. There is little I can do to change many of the important things in my life....6. I often feel helpless in dealing with the problems of life........7. I can do just about anything I really set my mind to do..... 3
Self reports•Students were asked how they viewed their overall health on a 1 (very poor ) – 5 (perfect) scale•Students were asked to report on their happiness from 1 (very unhappy) to 5 (very happy) 3
Results elements of Mastery (t1—t2)Significant improvement between pre-course survey and post (last day) forQuestions1 (future depends on me) p = 0.0422 (feel pushed around) p = 0.0235 (little to change life) p = 0.0426 (feel helpless) p = 0.0287 (can do anything set mind to) p = 0.001 3
Results elements of Mastery (t1—t3)Significant improvement between pre-course survey and five months after forQuestions2 (feel pushed around) p=0.0073 (have little control) p=0.0385 (little to change life) p=0.0686 (feel helpless) p=0.0267 (can do anything set mind to) p=0.011 3
Results Self reported HealthSignificant improvements:•Pre (t1) to post (t2) p = 0.001•Pre (t1) to 5 mos after (t3) p = 0.005•Post (t2) to 5 mos after (t3) p = 0.02 3
Results - Self reported happinessSignificant improvement•Pre (t1) - post (t2) p = 0.042•Pre (t1) - 5 mos after (t3) p = 0.033•Post (t2) - 5 mos after (t3) p = 0.08 3
Alzheimer’s and gardens• “Treatment gardens for people with Alzheimer’s disease…an accessible positive outdoor environment that supports individual treatment goals with measurable positive outcomes on resident behavior, mood, depression, social interaction, sleeping patterns, awareness, orientation, spatial negoriation and active engagement in activities.” (Tyson, Alzheimer’s care quarterly, 2002; 3(1): 55-60.) • http://www.alzinfo.org/alzheimers-treatment- therapeutic-gardens.asp 3
Public SafetyAlthough a study of community gardensin Houston TX showed no decrease incrime with community gardens -“representatives showed that communitygardens appeared to have a positiveinfluence on neighborhoods, withresidents reporting neighborhoodrevitalization, perceived immunity fromcrime, and neighbors emulatinggardening practices they saw at thecommunity gardens”http://horttech.ashspublications.org/cgi/content/abstr 3
School gardens• Can be used to teach a range of subjects, from health and nutrition, to genetics and other physical sciences, to math and social sciences.• Can improve children’s attitudes toward vegetables and unfamiliar foods.• Can provide a site for children to get active• Challenge children to be stewards of their environment.
School Gardens Before you start…Creating a school gardenrequires a fair amount of planning
Planning• Make sure that a significant proportion of the school – parents, students, teachers, administration – agrees that a school garden is something they want.• The Principal must be invested in having a garden.
What do you want?• Will this be a –Vegetable garden? –A flower garden? –A Native American garden? –A desert plant garden? Each of these can be used to teach, but each has very different requirements.
A garden building plan• Who will build the garden? – Volunteers? – Teachers? – Parents? – Students?• Raised beds and planters are often the easiest to set up and use.• Use little or no grass in a school garden
A maintenance planWho will do the work of making sure thegarden survives (watering, weeding, etc.)? – Volunteers? – Teachers? – Parents? – Students? – How about during school breaks?
A funding plan• School gardens are self-funded.• Where will the money come from for plants, fertilizers, equipment? – Grants? – Fundraisers? – Donations?
A curriculum plan• How will this garden be integrated into the rest of the curriculum?• Staff at CCSD will help to review garden based curricula, but the responsibility for development falls to the school (teachers and administrators).
What is most important role of a school garden? % parents % teachersGrowing fruit and 74.7 54.1vegetables for foodSocializing with 4.5 16.4gardening friendsFeeling relaxed and safe 10.6 4.9in plant environmentLearning about plants 9.7 24.6Other 0.5 0.0 Waliczek et al. 2000
Essentials for successItem % respondentsResponsible person 63Garden site 61.4Funding 60.6Support of principal 48Gardening equipment 47.7 DeMarco, et al. 1999
Garden-based health & nutrition• Grades 2 – 5• Knowledge increase re: nutritional value of vegetables• No greater stated acceptance• Increase in eating vegetables as snacks! Koch et al. 2006
Youth farm market projectInner city project in Minneapolis/St. PaulYouth (preteens and teens) who grew vegetables ate them.“…exposure to a garden-based nutrition education programs (sic) improves youth’s preference for vegetables compared to those not exposed to a garden program. “
Contact Karyn Johnson 257-5523• http://www.unce.unr.edu/programs/sit es/foodforthoughts/
Interested in creating a community garden?• UNCE works with communities that are establishing gardens• Provide classroom training• Guidelines for actual building• Ongoing support for physical plant
COMMUNITY GARDENS ARE NOT A NEW IDEA Xochimilcoancient floating gardens of Mexico City
WHAT IS NEEDED TO GET STARTED1. A small committed group.2. A shared vision.3. PATIENCE to get through rocky times.4. The physical space.5. Access to physical labor.6. A LITTLE CASH DOESN’T HURT.
Before starting, answer the following• Easy access to water?• How many hours of sunlight does the area receive?• From what direction is the light?• What is the level of time, strength & interest?
If landscaping is in place…• Know what you will encounter when you begin to dig (wires, pipes, etc.).• Identify the potential workload – chemical, physical, botanical – that will be required to remove existing materials (e.g. lawn, concrete).• Identify what of the existing materials will be replaced.• Identify which of the existing materials will be retained.
What do you want to achieve?A garden is more than the plants; it requires irrigation, time and more. For instance…• Are you gardening for food or view?• How big will the mature plants get?• Do you really want a 50 foot ash tree in the courtyard?• Native desert plants tend to be smaller and slower-growing.
Gardening in the Mojave• Not quite like other parts of the world• Driest desert in North America• Average annual rainfall 4.25”• Salty soil; this area was once an ocean – Water left – Salt didn’t• Strong dry winds• Intense sunlight
Rose Garden• A housing development for low income seniors/disabled in North Las Vegas.• UNCE had given a brief course on gardening at this site in 2007• In 2009 residents and staff wanted another course with a hands-on component• City staff arranged for a community garden to be built.
Preparation • Residents grew their own seedlings indoors • Originally 12 participants • Dropped to 8 during the winter
Las Vegas Community Garden• Began in the mid-1990s in West LV• 32 raised beds• Joint project of UNCE master gardeners and the Doolittle Senior Center (LV parks and rec.)• Elderly gardeners raise enough produce to contribute hundreds of pounds of produce to hungry people each year.
Current situation• More effort was going into developing gardens in low income areas• New projects: – Floyd Lamb park – Acacia park
Evaluating effectivenessSeveral means• Self reported effects (surveys)• Physical differences (BP, weight, bmi)• Increase in amount of vegetables eaten (journals, etc. )
Measurements• Information – knowledge gain• Behavior changes• Attitudinal changes
No guarantees…Meta-analysis of 11 studies found little consistency among results, but did noteA general increase in willingness to try eating vegetables, even as snacks.A general lack of improvement in food preferences. Robinson-O’Brien, et al 2009
Gardening Class• Gardening in Small Places Feb. 27• Beginning class: 8am – noon• Advanced class: 1pm - 5
References• Lautenschlager, Lauren and Chery Smith. Beliefs, knowledge, and values held by inner-city youth about gardening, nutrition, and cooking. Agriculture and Human Values. 24(2): 245-258• Relf, Diane . HUMAN ISSUES IN HORTICULTURE. HortTechnology April/June 1992 2(2)• Collins, Claudia and Angela O’Callaghan. The Impact of Horticultural Responsibility on Health Indicators and Quality of Life in Assisted Living. HortTechnology. Oct-Dec 2008.• Waliczek, T.M., J.C. Bradley, R.D. Lineberger, & J.M. Zajicek. 2000. Using a Web-based Survey to Research the Benefits of Children Gardening. HortTechnology Jan-Mar. 10(1)• DeMarco, L.W. Diane Relf, Alan McDaniel. 1999. Integrating Gardening into the Elementary School Curriculum. HortTechnology: April-June 9(2)
References cont.•Patel, I.C. 1991. Gardenings Socioeconomic Impacts. Journal of Extension. 29(4)•Koch, S., T.M. Waliczek, J.M. Zajicek. 2006. The effect of a summer garden program on the nutritional knowledge, attitudes and behaviors of children. HortTechnology Oct- Dec. 2006.•Robinson-O’Brien, R., Mary Story, Stephanie Heim. 2009. Impact of Garden-Based Youth Nutrition Intervention Programs: a review. J. Am. Dietetic Assn.•Hanna, Autumn K. and Pikai Oh. 2000. Rethinking Urban Poverty: A Look at Community Gardens. Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, 2000 20; 207.•Alaimo, K., E. Packnett, R.A. Miles, D.J.Kruger 2008. Fruit and vegetable intake among Urban Community Gardeners.J Nutrit. Ed. And Behav. 40 (2): 94-101
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