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Mental Health: Gardening Activities


  • Mental health,
  • Social environment,
  • Community,
  • Facilities & organizations,
  • Healthcare facilities,
  • Schools,
  • Workplace,

Gardening activities

Gardening can increase social and mental health, motivation, self-esteem and reduce stress. Research shows that social inclusion and reduced isolation is shown to improve a number of risk factors for chronic disease and cancer.1

Strathmore residents have been increasing environmental citizenship and earth stewardship by teaching children about gardening. 

Ways to get started

  • Partner with local community groups to create garden beds in areas that are accessible to the community.
  • Raise some of the garden beds to waist height to allow those with reduced mobility to participate.
  • Place garden beds close to each other to promote social interaction.
  • Recruit a gardening specialist to provide lessons and demonstrate gardening techniques.1
  • Provide the tools required for gardening.1
  • Decorate and maintain existing community gardens.

For further action to promote/improve mental health in your community, see

Multi-component community-wide interventions that increase awareness about and provide opportunities for positive mental health in your community will have greater impact than implementing single, one-off strategies.

Evaluation measures the impact of all the hard work that went into developing a community initiative. Evaluating impact examines:

  1. What you expect to learn or change
  2. What you measure and report
  3. How to measure impact

 What you expect to learn about gardening activities may include:            

  • Learning that the strategy was implemented as planned
  • Increased perception of social connectedness
  • Increased knowledge of and skills in gardening
  • Decreased feelings of loneliness or isolation

References: Gardening

  1. Strout K, Jemison J, O’Brien L, Wihry D, Waterman T. GROW: Green organic vegetable gardens to promote older adult wellness: A feasibility study. J Community Health Nurs. 2017;34(3):115–25.


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