Growing Minds: Gardening and Parent Involvement in Elementary Schools
Roxanne Boyer, Amy L. McFarland, Jayne M. Zajicek and Tina M. Waliczek

Despite the overwhelming evidence of the benefits of parent involvement, schools often have difficulty getting parents involved on campus. The purpose of this project was to implement a school gardening program and measure parent involvement before and after the program in elementary schools. Third through fifth grade students in Texas participated in the Junior Master Gardener program during the school year. At the end of the school year, parents of those students who participated were asked to respond to a survey regarding their involvement with their child’s school. A sample of 290 parents completed a retrospective pre-test/post-test instrument. Statistically significant increases from retrospective pre-test to post-test scores were found in total parent involvement scores, attitude scores, and behavior scores. The mean scores of the participants were higher on the post-test indicating a more positive attitude toward the school and greater parent involvement after implementation of a school gardening program. Scores were generally higher, both on the pre- and post-test for African Americans and Caucasians, participants with higher income levels, and participants with higher educational levels. However, the findings suggested that school gardening may be an effective tool for involving Caucasian and Hispanic parents and those of the lower income levels since those groups exhibited the greatest change in scores from the pre-test to the post-test.

The Relationship between Gardening and Depression among Individuals with Disabilities
Justin F. Wilson and Keith M Christensen

The purpose of this study was to identify the relationship between gardening and depressive symptoms among individuals with disabilities. The current paper compares the mean depression scores of three different gardening categories: non-gardeners, past gardeners, and current gardeners. A linear relation is identified using gardening status and reported depression scores. Results reveal that there is a negative relationship between gardening and depression. Current gardeners with disabilities had lower overall depression scores than non-gardeners with disabilities.

Pregnancy and Place: Creating Therapeutic Gardens for Maternity Care Patients
Lara M. Browning & Sungkyung Lee

Research and design guidelines for therapeutic gardens target patient populations such as acute care, psychiatric, pediatric, geriatric, and Alzheimer’s patients. A significant patient population that has not been addressed is maternity care patients. This research concentrates on ways in which the designed environment can help to alleviate stress through the provision of therapeutic gardens for maternity patients, thereby protecting fetuses from adverse effects. Qualities of the home environment may assist in stress reduction and are thus used to develop guidelines for therapeutic garden design specific to maternity care patients. The design guidelines are applied to develop a rooftop garden for a maternity care center in Atlanta, Georgia.