Attitudes Toward Plants and Gardening
SUMMARY: Recently there has been an increased interest in the role of plants in human well- being and in the general public’s perception of the value of plants. Knowing the nature and extent of the value of plants to people can affect the way plants are used in public and private landscapes, the amount of money invested in the establishment and maintenance of plants, and the satisfaction derived from the plantings. In conjunction with the National National Gardening Association consumer market study, a question was asked to determine if observations from previous, limited studies were applicable to a wide range of American households.
Awareness of and Interest in Native Wildflowers Among College Students in Plant Related Disciplines A Case Study from Florida
SUMMARY: Traditional college students do not fit the demographic profile of people who are driving increased sales in gardening and landscaping or the use of native wildflowers. However, today’s college students, especially those in plant-related disciplines, may he making future decisions regarding the use of native wildflowers for various applications. Many college students may be unaware of or disinterested in native wildflowers. We used a web-based survey to gauge awareness and interest of native wildflowers in Florida college students enrolled in plant-related disciplines. While students have a generally low awareness of native wildflowers, they expressed high levels of interest in learning more about the identification or cultivation of these species, seeing wildflowers, particularly on their campuses, and using wildflowers in different settings. Students were also interested in purchasing native wildflower seeds or finished plants from local retailers rather than through the Internet. We used student responses from this study to discuss education and marketing opportunities toward native wildflowers.
Graduate Student Use of Campus Green Spaces and the Impact on Their Perceptions of Quality of Life
SUMMARY: Students’ perception of their overall academic experience and the campus environment is related to academic accomplishment, and research has found that the designed environment of the university can influence the degree of stress students may feel. The main objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between graduate student use of campus green spaces and their perceptions of quality of life at a university in Texas. A total of 347 of 3279 (10%) of the graduate student body received e-mails with information regarding the incentive for participation and instructions on accessing an on-line survey. A total of 79 (22.8% response rate) graduate student questionnaires were collected and analyzed to compare perceptions of quality of life of university students and the level of individual usage of campus green spaces. Descriptive statistics determined that, unlike undergraduates who were. primarily “high users” of campus green spaces, graduate students were about equally split between being “low,” “medium,” and “high users” of campus green spaces. However, graduate students still ranked their quality of life highly. Finally, this study found that, unlike undergraduates, graduate students did not have a statistically significant relationship between green user scores and perception of quality life scores.
Master Gardeners and Horticultural Therapy
SUMMARY: Horticultural therapy programs can benefit from the services of Master Gardeners. Trained through the U.S. Cooperative Extension Service, Master Gardeners are skilled in practical plant sciences and committed to volunteerism. A nationwide survey has determined that 374 Master Gardeners in 21 states are helping to bring structured horticultural activities to individuals in nursing homes, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, prisons, and other special service facilities.
Perceived Benefits to Human Well-being of Urban Gardens
SUMMARY: Private gardens occupy a significant proportion of the total surface area of a British city. For many people, the garden represents their only contact with nature and their chance to express themselves creatively. Yet relatively little research has been carried out on the role and value of such gardens to human well-being. We report in this paper on a major survey on the role of private, urban gardens in human well-being, conducted with a wide cross-section of randomly selected garden owners from the city of Sheffield, England, Over the summer of 1995. In particular, we discuss the perceived value that gardens have to the well-being of people, both individually through the enjoyment of their own gardens and collectively through the contribution of city gardens to environmental enhancement. We relate these values to age, gender and social demographics.
Survey Responses Identify Community Member Interest in Visiting Public Gardens and Arboreta
SUMMARY: An Internet survey was conducted from 28 May to 8 June 2008 to investigate consumer awareness and interest in attending programming offered at The Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College. The study was designed to investigate what traditional and non-traditional programs might attract community members to the arboretum and to identify potential barriers, perceived or real, that might discourage community members from visiting the arboretum. Among demographic groups, more females were interested in “hands-on workshops” (42.5%) and “fact sheets, instructional bulletins, and how-to guides” (37.4%) than males (26.8% and 26.3%, respectively). In examining events and activities, significant differences were found for “wine tasting and tours” and “outdoor concerts and live performances” based on household income; however, no significant differences were found among age groups and other demographics tested. Differences in interest in other activities were apparent based on number of adults and number of children in the household.
The Effect of an Interdisciplinary Garden Program on the Environmental Attitudes of Elementary School Students
SUMMARY: Project GREEN (Garden Resources for Environmental Education Now) is a garden program designed to help teachers integrate environmental education into their classroom using a hands-on tool, the garden. The objectives of this research project were to 1) develop an interdisciplinary garden activity guide to help teachers integrate environmental education into their curricula and 2) evaluate whether children developed
positive environmental attitudes by participating in the activities. Students participating in the Project GREEN garden program had more positive environmental attitude scores than those students who did not participate. Second-grade students in the experimental and control groups had more positive environmental attitudes than fourth-grade students. In addition, this research found a significant correlation between the number of outdoor related activities students had experienced and their environmental attitudes.
Visiting Outdoor Green Environments Positively Impacts Self Rated Health Among Older People in Long Term Care
SUMMARY: The restorative effects of nature in enhancing human well-being are well documented. However, the effects of exposure to a green environment on health in institutional settings have not been adequately studied. Our study describes the relationship between the reported frequency of visits to an outdoor green environment and self-rated health, including hindrances experienced during outdoor visits among older people living in a nursing home. Forty-five women assessed their health and answered a questionnaire containing the Nottingham Health Profile (NHP) during an interview. A strong positive association was established between the reported frequency of visiting outdoors and self-rated health even when taking into account health related distress measured using the NHP. The main hindrances related to outdoor visits were lack of assistance and uncomfortable weather conditions. the results suggest that it might be possible to promote the well being of older individuals living in nursing homes by providing them with opportunities to visit outdoor green environments.