Multi-state extension publication series highlights benefits of consumer horticulture to society and provides basis for further education efforts

N. Bumgarner, E. Bauske, P. Bennett, D. Close, S. Dorn, R. Durham, C. Evensen, T. James, H. Kirk-Ballard, J. Kuehny, B. Pennisi, R. Polomski, K. Smith, K. Walberg
A multi-institutional team of horticulture extension educators and researchers have come together as the Consumer Horticulture Extension, Research, and Education Coordinating Committee (SCC85, https://www.nimss.org/projects/view/mrp/outline/ 18311). This SCC85 group also serves as the Academic Council of the National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture (NICH, https://consumerhort.org/), an organization comprised of members from every facet of the green industry whose mission is to promote consumer horticulture. The SCC85 has released a series of six extension publications connecting current scientific literature to the benefits of consumer horticulture to various aspects of society. After the overview publication connects people with plants, the series follows a nested ecological model, starting with benefits to individuals and families and expanding to housing and residential areas, schools and communities, businesses and workplaces, and finally the environment. This effort involved 14 individuals across 8 institutions working over 14 months. These publications are housed on six state extension websites and collectively are linked from NICH website (https://consumerhort.org/benefits-of-consumer-horticulture/). These publications form the basis for ongoing efforts aimed at educating extension audiences and the public regarding the benefits of consumer horticulture. Once informed, it is predicted that additional consumers will participate more fully in horticultural activities involving a diverse range of goods, services, and learning opportunities. This paper will provide an overview of these publications and discuss our efforts toward developing educational materials targeting Extension Master Gardener volunteers, secondary- and higher-education students, and green industry producers and consumers.
Bumgarner, N., Bauske, E., Bennett, P., Close, D., Dorn, S., Durham, R., Evensen, C., James, T., Kirk-Ballard, H., Kuehny, J., Pennisi, B., Polomski, R., Smith, K. and Walberg, K. (2021). Multi-state extension publication series highlights benefits of consumer horticulture to society and provides basis for further education efforts. Acta Hortic. 1330, 169-176
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1330.19
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1330.19
community, health, school gardening, family, environment, collaborative publishing, NICH, Master Gardener
English

Acta Horticulturae