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Field report for everyone Can Grow! Curriculum
Date Permissions Signed
Date of Award
Masters Field Project
Department or Program Affiliation
Master of Education (MEd)
Myers, Gene (O. Gene)
Berardi, Gigi M.
Working with plants has numerous physical, mental health and well-being benefits for people, and military veteran farming programs have been started to provide these benefits. However, these programs lack activities outside of the Washington State growing season which is approximately May to October. Since these programs are largely meant as ways for veterans to engage in community and peer support, the gap over winter is unacceptable for the purposes of supporting mental health. This project produced a winter environmental education curriculum for military vets, titled Everyone can Grow! (ECG!), and is designed to provide peer support and psychological benefit from nurturing indoor plants. Its 40 lessons in 4 modules cover botany, plant care, building and maintaining vivariums and terrariums, and various artistic projects. These lessons are collectively ways to learn concepts of ecology and stewardship and related practical skills, for the purposes of encouraging environmental stewardship. The group format of the lessons provides veteran peer support. Plants are also provided for students to take home and extend the psychological and other benefits into participants’ daily lives. Three two-hour lessons from ECG! were piloted on separate Wednesdays in November 2018 at the Western Washington University (WWU) campus. Although participation was low, formative evaluation results were encouraging. These results led to a second pilot conducted at the Bellingham Veterans Center. At the time of this writing, the secondary pilot has conducted its first class and is negotiating support for continued classes at the location. Stronger outreach and publicity are being employed to increase participation at the Vet Center.
environmental education, peer support, terminology, plant, disability, vivarium, ecosystem, environment, activity, support, botany, ecology, aquarium, hydroponic, aquaponic, art, therapy, horticulture therapy, arts and crafts, hobby, monograph, journal, pest, disease, insect, isopod, worm, cricket, cockroach, springtail, bioactive, oyster mushroom, sprout, microgreens, mycology, plant care, soil, farm, agriculture
Western Washington University
Subject – LCSH
Veterans--Mental health--United States; Veterans--Social networks--United States; Indoor gardening--Therapeutic use; Terrariums--Theapeutic use; Curriculum planning
Copying of this thesis in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author’s written permission.
Elam, Rachel, "Everyone Can Grow! Winter Programming Using an Indoor Horticulture Environmental Education Program to Benefit Military Veterans" (2019). WWU Graduate School Collection. 852.