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An International Plant People Interaction Resource Center
College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources
University of Hawaii at Manoa
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Contribution & Volunteering
Please contact,
Dr. Candice Shoemaker, Chair
Dr. Andy Kaufman, Vice-Chair/Communications

Children’s Gardening

Defining Children Gardening

The children's gardening movement has gained significant momentum in recent years through such efforts as the National Gardening Association's Grow Lab curriculum, the Kidsgardening.org Web site, and NGA's wide array of youth gardening grants and awards. The American Horticultural Society has sponsored national conferences targeting school gardening. There are other outstanding national programs for integrating gardening into the elementary school curriculum, including Life Lab (sponsored by the National Science Foundation), and small businesses, such as Gardens for Growing People, dedicated to supplying children's gardening resources. A plant selection guide for children's environments (Moore, 1989) expands the concepts of how plants are used in the landscape. The People-Plant Council has an extensive list of books related to gardening and children available by sending a pre-addressed, stamped envelope to PPC, Office of Consumer Horticulture, 407 Saunders Hall, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0327.

A number of horticulture industry groups, businesses, and botanic gardens have been involved in supporting children's gardening. In addition, Cooperative Extension has taken a leadership role in this area, both in 4-H programs (Whittlesey, Curtis, and Laine, 1991) and through Master Gardener efforts, such as the Virginia Beach 4-H Urban Gardening Project entitled Ready Set Grow (Virginia Cooperative Extension, 1990). Although the broad concept of children's gardening does not fall under the horticultural therapy umbrella, there are horticultural therapy programs that specifically address children in hospitals and other treatment settings (Kavanagh and Chambers, 1995). In addition, children's gardening programs from arboreta and botanic gardens may include horticultural therapy in treatment facilities or simply accessible gardening for disabled youth (Morgan, 1989; Moore, 1989)

Examples of Youth or School Gardening Sponsors

  • Cambell and Ferrara Nurseries, Inc., 6651 Little River Turnpike, Alexandria, VA 22312. Environ- Man Plans for Budding Gardeners
  • Gardens for Growing People, P.O. Box 630, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956-0630. Gardens for Growing People newsletter
  • Life Lab Science Program, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064; tel: 408-459-2001; FAX 408-459-3483.
  • Lilypons Water Gardens, P.O. Box 10, Buckeystown, MD 21717-0010; FAX: 301-874-2325. The Lily Ponds for Youth(SM) grant program
  • National Gardening Association, 1100 Dorset St., So. Burlington, VT 05403; 802-863-5251; www.kidsgardening.org
  • Wholesale Florists and Florist Suppliers of America's (WF&FSA), 5313 Lee Highway, P.O. Box 7308, Arlington, VA 22207. Growing Up with Flowers
  • Yoder Brother's, Inc., 115 Third Street, S.E., P.O. Box 230, Barberton, OH 44203, tel: 800- 321- 9573; FAX: 216-753-5294. Magnificent Mum Education Program