The Overall Benefits of School-Provided Gardens on the Education System
Whether or not to adapt school systems around the world into growing their own gardens is a controversial issue among educators, environmentalists, parents, politicians, and many other people alike. When it comes to discussing opinions on the matter, I too have taken a stance on the naturalization of educational institutions. I believe that providing students opportunities to tend campus gardens should be mandatory in all school systems. This method of educating is clearly beneficial to all parties involved.
Nature heals and strengthens humans in a multitude of ways. It especially affects the developing minds and cognition of our youth. Thus, allowing children to tend to gardens throughout the day will assist in heightening their focus and relieving stress. According to the book “Last Child in the Woods,” children with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (A.D.H.D.) are found to focus easier when connecting with nature.
Richard Louv, author of the book, interviewed a mother of a child with A.D.H.D. “My son is still on Ritalin, but he’s so much calmer in the outdoors that we’re seriously considering moving to the mountains.”
Along with strengthening mental ability and reinforcing standard curriculum, these gardens are needed because they may very well be the only natural interaction these students receive in their daily lives.
With the constant expansion of businesses and residential areas, urban establishments are taking hold of natural environments and are limiting the opportunity kids have to get outside in nature. A Huffington Post article shared the amount of natural land disappearing in states around the country. “In the 11 states studied — Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming — researchers found that between 2001 and 2011, about 4,300 square miles of natural areas disappeared because of development. That’s an area slightly larger
than Yellowstone National Park.”
With garden areas provided in the school system, finding the resources to get kids outside, at least in their community’s natural environment, would no longer be an issue.
Although many folks still debate this issue, the evidence of the benefits on the educational experience are as clear as day. Mental and cognitive prosperity and an exponential increase of valuable interaction with the natural world come as a packaged deal with on campus gardens. All that is left to do is pressure local government officials to putting a plan in action.