Community and School Gardens

Community and School Gardens
Growing Healthy Communities
Background: Health and Nutrition
• Adult obesity rates exceed 25%
in 31 states and 20% in 49
states and Washington, D.C.
– Arkansas ranks 10th in the nation
– In 2009, less than 14% of adults consumed fruit 2 or
more times per day and vegetables 3 or more times
per day
• Less than 24% consumed fruit 2 times per day
• Less than 29% consumed vegetables 3 times per day
Background: Food Insecurity
• 49.1 million (12.2%) live in food insecure
households, 14.6% at least some of the time
– Arkansas ranked 3rd (15.9%) in the nation
• 23.5 million (8.4%) of U.S. population live in
low-income areas, more than a mile from a
- 2.3 million do not have access
to a vehicle
- food deserts
Background: Physical Activity
• 2005: 10.3% of adults engage in no moderate-tovigorous activity in leisure time, occupation or
transportation – higher in females (12%)
• 2008: 25.4 % participate in no leisure time
physical activity
– 29.3% of Arkansans
• Decreased from 31% in
1989 to 28% in 2000 to
25% in 2008
Background: Other Key Issues
Community Engagement
Knowledge about How to Grow food
Farmers of Tomorrow?
Environmental Resources
Green Space
Financial Resources
Economic Development
• “Statistics…show that the Obama’s and White
House staff were able to convert an initial outof-pocket investment of $200 into over a half
ton of fresh, chemical free produce. Imagine
the savings the country could make if millions
of Americans followed
their example this
growing season.”
- Roger Doiron, Kitchen Gardener’s International
Community Gardens
Any piece of land gardened
by a group of people
American Community Gardening Association
Benefits of Community Gardens
• Stimulates Social Interaction, Community Organizing
and Community Engagement
• PRODUCES Nutritious FOOD!
– Encourages Community’s Food Security
– Increases Access to Nutritious Food
• Improves the Health of the Community and Its
– Beautifies Neighborhoods
– Preserves Green Spaces
– Creates Opportunities for Exercise,
Therapy, Education and Recreation
Steps to Starting a Community Garden
• Organize
– Committee of people
– resources, land
– funding, structure
• Plan
– Site design: sunshine, water,
shade, security, children, disabled individuals
• Prepare
– Develop site, purchase equipment
• Communicate
– Determine guidelines, community outreach
Community Garden Models
• On Personal Property: Oakhurst Community
Garden - Decatur, GA
• As a City Park: Two Rivers Community Garden
and Dunbar Garden Project - Little Rock, AR
• Initiated by Individuals, Neighborhoods,
Communities, For-Profit and Non-Profit
• Owned by an Institution: College Campuses,
Hospitals, Private Companies
• On school grounds: School Gardens
Child Health Trends
• Nationally, approximately 16% of children and
adolescents ages 6-19 years are overweight or
– When an individual is overweight as a child, he or she
is more likely to be overweight as an adult, causing
higher risks of health problems.
• In Arkansas, approximately 38% of public schoolage children and adolescents are overweight or
– In 2009, less than 10% of youth, grades 9-12 consumed
fruit 2 times per day and vegetables 3 times per day
• Less than 24% consumed fruit 2 times per day
• Less than 10% consumed vegetables 3 times per day
Farm to School
• Farm to school (FTS) is a
national movement to
bring healthy, locally grown produce to school
children in order to improve child health,
strengthen family farms and support communitybased food systems.
• Farm to School programs emphasize the use of
multiple social and physical environments to both
educate and teach new life skills that encourage
and reinforce healthy eating behaviors.
School Gardens
• On school grounds
• Involves students in the creation, planting,
tending and harvesting
• For educational, health,
and social enrichment
• To promote a sense of
Benefits of School Gardens
• Increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables
• Increase knowledge, preferences, willingness
to taste and intake of vegetables
• Enhance academic curricula
• Anecdotal evidence of increased
school bonding
– Potential to decrease student
delinquency, substance abuse
and school drop-out
School Garden Models
• Edible School Yard
• District-Wide Models in California
• Felder Farm, Little
• Dunbar Garden
Project, Little Rock
• Delta Garden Study,
Arkansas Delta Region
Community and School Garden
• American Community Gardening Association
– Rebel Tomato: Online Tool
California School Garden Network
ATTRA: National
Sustainable Agriculture
Information Service
Arkansas Resources
Apple Seeds, Inc.
Arkansas Local Foods Initiative
Arkansas Farm to School Steering Committee
Arkansas Food Policy Council
Arkansas Sustainability Network
Arkansas Urban Gardening Education Resources
Little Rock Urban Farming
University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture –
Cooperative Extension Service
Emily English
Program Manager
Delta Garden Study
[email protected]

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