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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(12), 1454; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14121454

School Gardens: A Qualitative Study on Implementation Practices

1
Department of Movement and Sports Sciences, Ghent University, Watersportlaan 2, 9000 Gent, Belgium
2
Logo Gezond+, Baudelokaai 8, 9000 Gent, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 November 2017 / Revised: 17 November 2017 / Accepted: 22 November 2017 / Published: 25 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
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Abstract

School gardens have beneficial effects on children’s dietary behaviors but information on its implementation is scarce. The current study aimed to gain insight in implementation practices of school gardens and in perceptions of key members and children towards a school garden. We conducted twelve interviews involving 14 key members and five focus groups with 38 children from fifth to sixth grade (10–13 years old) in four primary schools in Ghent (Flanders, Belgium). We analyzed the interviews and focus groups in NVivo, using thematic analysis. School gardens were mainly initiated to involve children in nature, not to improve vegetable consumption. Participants were positive about having a school garden, experienced facilitating factors (e.g., adaptability of the garden, having a person responsible for the garden), but also various barriers (e.g., difficulties with startup, maintenance during summer holidays and integration in the school curriculum) and suggested some solutions (e.g., involving external organizations and parents, expanding the garden) and motivating factors for children (e.g., colorful plants, use of gloves). In order to improve implementation and to contribute to children’s health, future school gardening projects should take the recommendations of key members and children into account. View Full-Text
Keywords: primary school; gardening; children; key members; vegetables primary school; gardening; children; key members; vegetables
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Huys, N.; De Cocker, K.; De Craemer, M.; Roesbeke, M.; Cardon, G.; De Lepeleere, S. School Gardens: A Qualitative Study on Implementation Practices. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 1454.

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