There are ways in which we quantify our impact that are straightforward—like the pounds of produce our student gardens and farms harvest each year, the number of students who tried new fruits and veggies, and improved science testing scores. These numbers are important and it’s easy to see and understand our work and the impact therein.
Possibly more meaningful, however, are the points of growth in our students and communities that are much more difficult to quantify. How a student feels a sense of accomplishment and ownership when they see the seedlings they planted start to bear fruit. How exploration leads to critical thinking and self-learning. Learning how to work in teams leads to building relationships and developing leadership skills. Not to mention the benefit and joy of being outdoors, having their hands in soil, putting good old-fashioned hard work into a project that will benefit many.
Of students say they gained knowledge about how to improve their health as a result of this program
Of students say that this program helped them change their behavior or made them want to change their behavior to improve their health
Of teens demonstrated growth in 4 out of 5 social-emotional metrics
Of school leaders say our program has had a positive impact on their school
School gardens are associated with a litany of positive benefits that have been documented in scientific literature – from student health to academic achievement to building social-emotional skills. This gallery helps to illustrate these benefits. Each image contains a cited quotation from scientific literature about the benefits of school gardens. All of the images are from Gardeneers programs in action.
The list of positive benefits of the more intangible variety is seemingly endless. Our students learn the ways of urban agriculture and begin to claim their part of a food system that otherwise had excluded them.
Gardeneers is held up by three pillars: experiencing nature, supporting student nutrition, and connecting communities. Read more about each below.