Group Gardening in a Native American Community: A Collaborative Approach

Blakely Brown, Laura Dybdal, Curtis Noonan, Maja G. Pedersen, Martin Parker, Mary Corcoran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background. There is increasing awareness of the potential health benefits derived from gardening activities. Gardening practices are gaining momentum in Native American (NA) communities, yet no efforts have applied a community-based participatory research approach within a social-ecological model to understand opportunities and barriers for group gardening on an American Indian reservation. Objectives. The primary objective of this study was to identify influences across social-ecological levels that promote or hinder the implementation of community gardens and use of locally grown foods on the reservation; a secondary objective was to assess the feasibility of implementing a group gardening program for NA adults and potential of collecting health outcome measures. Method. Community members and academicians collaborated to develop and implement this study. The study (1) conducted interviews with key stakeholders to identify influences across social-ecological levels that promote or hinder the implementation of community gardens and using locally produced food and (2) assessed the physical and psychological well-being of NA adults participating in a group gardening feasibility study. Results. Major factors influencing using locally grown food and community gardens that emerged from nine interviews included knowledge/experience, self-efficacy, Elders, traditional ways, community values, generational gaps, and local tribal policies. Twenty NA adults with prediabetes or diabetes participated in the feasibility study. The Profile of Mood States Inventory showed consistently positive change in score for participants in the group gardening program versus the comparison group. Conclusions. This study identified key influences for growing locally grown food, and approaches for implementing group gardening programs for NA adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)611-623
Number of pages13
JournalHealth Promotion Practice
Volume21
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

Keywords

  • community-based participatory research
  • health promotion
  • health research
  • minority health
  • Native American/American Indian
  • nutrition
  • qualitative research
  • rural health

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