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American Heart Association Garden Community


AvaCultivating health:

The American Heart Association is working toward improving the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent, and reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent, all by the year 2020. 
 
Our programs, educational resources and advocacy initiatives are all targeted at helping people identify and adopt healthier lifestyles. Garden-based nutrition programs can promote increased fruit and vegetable intake among children which is an essential part of a heart-healthy lifestyle. To contribute to the tremendous momentum for gardening, the American Heart Association is excited to host this Garden Community as a place of sharing for many types of gardeners (school, community or personal) to empower and motivate each other and ultimately improve the health of Americans. 
 
This Garden Community is a collaborative place for any and all garden enthusiasts to share ideas, expertise, best-practices, information, tips and tricks, funding opportunities, curriculum and other resources to support each other and help gardens and children flourish! 


Why we garden:
 
Here’s food for thought:
  • Nearly one in three American children are overweight or obese.
  • Fewer than one in 10 high school students receive the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables daily.
  • French fries are the most common source of vegetables consumed by children and make up one-fourth of their vegetable intake.
Literature shows that gardening, including school gardens, have a positive impact. Garden-based nutrition intervention programs have the potential to promote increased fruit and vegetable intake among and increased willingness to taste fruits and vegetables among children. In addition to the potential to improve nutrition habits, community and school gardens may also teach and reinforce: responsibility, leadership, group cohesion/team building, environmental awareness and concern, science process, problem solving skills, math skills, and pride, confidence and self-esteem. 
 
We’re so glad you’ve joined our community to improve the health of children in America – let’s grow together!


AHA Teaching Gardens:

Obesity is one of the most expensive health care problems in America. Nearly one in three of U.S. children are overweight or obese putting them at higher risk of heart disease and stroke. Childhood obesity is the number one concern among parents.

The American Heart Association is taking a new approach in the fight against childhood obesity. In addition to this Garden Community, we’ve teamed with noted child-nutrition activist and philanthropist Kelly Meyer to plant American Heart Association Teaching Gardens at elementary schools across the country. These gardens become real-life learning laboratories where students learn what it means to be healthy.

Aimed at first graders through fifth, our Teaching Gardens teach children how to plant seeds, nurture growing plants, harvest produce, understand the value of good eating habits and to pass that information on to others.

Rooted in American Heart Association’s dietary recommendations for children, we have developed a standards-based curriculum full of garden themed lessons teaching nutrition, math, science and other subjects, all while having fun in the garden working with their hands.

Along with many others working to grow thriving school gardens, we’re changing the way America thinks about food and improving the health of our children.