248042 A recipe for success: How school gardens can cultivate healthier communities

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 9:10 AM

Lisa Chen, MPH, MCP , Planning for Healthy Places, Public Health Law & Policy, Oakland, CA
Michelle Markestyn Ratcliffe, PhD , Farm to School Program, Oregon Department of Agriculture, Food Innovation Center, Portland, OR
Abby Jaramillo, MNA , Urban Sprouts, San Francisco, CA
Since 2003, Urban Sprouts has been evaluating the impact of school gardens in seven of San Francisco's underserved middle and high schools, documenting not only how they encourage healthy eating habits, but also how they promote youth development, improve eco-literacy, and build a stronger sense of community amongst students, teachers, and families.

This session describes the results from this multi-year evaluation. Participants will learn about what school garden elements are most important to maximize these benefits, based on Ratcliffe's (2009) Garden-Based Education (GBE) model. We will explore how the model works in practice, using examples from Urban Sprouts' work. Finally, this session will discuss opportunities and barriers that school garden programs face in achieving sustained changes in the school and neighborhood environments. Participants will come away with an understanding not only of what is possible with an extensive, well-integrated school garden program, but also with an appreciation of what would be needed to implement this model on a larger scale.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Define the components of the Garden Based Education (GBE) model and how it explains individual & community health outcomes. Assess how the model works in practice, sharing evaluation results from Urban Sprouts, a community-based organization in San Francisco. Identify opportunities and challenges of replicating this program model on a larger scale.

Keywords: Food and Nutrition, School-Based Programs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I participated in conducting the evaluation. I am a former staff person and current volunteer for the organization, and I am a candidate for a degree in Public Health and City Planning (MPH/MCP).
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.