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Alternative title

Field report for everyone Can Grow! Curriculum

Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award

Winter 2019

Document Type

Masters Field Project

Department or Program Affiliation

Environmental Education

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)


Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Myers, Gene (O. Gene)

Second Advisor

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

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Veterans--Mental health--United States; Veterans--Social networks--United States; Indoor gardening--Therapeutic use; Terrariums--Theapeutic use; Curriculum planning

Geographic Coverage

United States




masters theses




Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this thesis for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.

Rights Statement

Everyone can grow_Teachers guide.pdf (1029 kB)
A set of 40 lessons organized into 4 modules surrounding aspects of indoor gardening for use as a curriculum.

Everyone can grow_Student materials.pdf (5911 kB)
Practical materials to guide activities from the curriculum found in the Teacher's Guide.