Fostering children's interests in gardening

TitleFostering children's interests in gardening
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsLekies, KS, Sheavly, MEames
JournalApplied Environmental Education & Communication
Pagination67 - 75
Date Published2007/01/01/
ISBN Number1533-015X
KeywordsAWB, Childhood Interests, children, Cooperative Planning, Discuss, Elementary School Students, Gardening, gender differences, Include2, NCH2, New York, outdoor education, participation, Reviewed, Reviewed2, Rural Schools, Student Interests, Student Motivation, youth

Despite the rapidly growing interest in children's gardens and attention to the positive benefits of gardening for children, little is known about the ways in which young people actually form interests in gardening. Using a sample of 9- and 10-year-old children at a school garden site in New York State, this study examined the ways in which gender, length of time working with the garden project, different types of gardening activities, and garden skills learned influenced interests in gardening. Regression analysis indicated that gardening skills had the strongest effect on gardening interest, followed by participation in planning and management activities, gender, and length of time. The total effect of planting activities was small. Adults working with school- and community-based children's gardens should identify ways to engage children and youth more fully in all phases of garden design, implementation, and maintenance. Attention also should be given to ways to involve boys. Additional research should focus on youth of different ages, different types of gardening settings, and additional aspects of the gardening experience, such as youth-adult partnerships and peer relationships. (Contains 3 tables and 1 figure.)

Short TitleApplied Environmental Education and Communication


United States