Consult the ‘Before Going Further’ Checklist (pdf) at each step of the process.
It seems that new gardens are springing up everywhere, and for good reason. Gardening projects are a highly visible way to beautify a community and inspire well-being among the many people who live, play, and work there. The bond between plants and people is a potent and historic one, destined to reconnect both the young and the young at heart to our environment. Whether we are striving to foster earth stewardship in school children, making literature come alive through an enchanting Peter Rabbit garden, or giving a facelift to an otherwise uninviting vacant lot, growing plants can be a powerful avenue through which we bring about positive change in our surroundings, and in our lives.
The horticultural aspects of a gardening program deserve scrutiny – indeed, they are critical. And, the instructional components are plentiful and offer rich rewards for educators seeking hands-on, inquiry-based learning opportunities for their audience. But the “people part” is just as significant, and is often overlooked in the excitement of getting a gardening program off the ground.