The National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture and the role it plays in human well-being

P. Bennett, S. Dorn, N. Bumgarner
The National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture (NICH) started in 2012 with a group of academicians seeking funding for consumer horticulture (CH) research. A committee consisting of representatives from all facets of CH including universities and colleges, public gardens, industry, government, plant associations, and non-profits met in Washington, DC in 2014 to develop the mission, vision, and value statement. The mission of NICH is to grow a healthy world through the art, science and business of plants, gardens, and landscapes. There were three objectives: Cultivate healthy, connected, and engaged communities; recognize CH as a driver of the agricultural economy; and restore, protect, and conserve natural resources thorough CH research and education. An organizational structure was developed at a meeting in Denver, Colorado in 2016. The Community and Health Benefits committee focused the goal of cultivating healthy, connected, and engaged communities. The first step was a literature review to discover the current research on this topic as well as gaps. In 2020, a national social media campaign was initiated to raise the awareness of the value and the importance of CH to the public. The social media campaign timing was perfect as the Covid-19 pandemic came into full swing, and the CH industry saw a dramatic increase in plant and garden interest. This presentation focuses on the background of NICH, the efforts and results of the Community and Health Benefits committee. Learn about NICH resources available as well as how those involved in the people-plant connection and horticultural therapy can get involved in supporting the effort to strengthen the adoption of CH in the US as an effective tool for improving human health and community well-being across diverse populations.
Bennett, P., Dorn, S. and Bumgarner, N. (2021). The National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture and the role it plays in human well-being. Acta Hortic. 1330, 177-184
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1330.20
gardening, health other

Acta Horticulturae