Education programs in public children’s gardens in the United States

Min Hyeong Kwon, Jongyun Kim, Changwan Seo, Chiwon W. Lee, Eu Jean Jang, Woo Kyun Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


SUMMARY. This study examines the current status, implementation, and foci of children’s education programs as a subset of general audience-targeted public education programs offered by public children’s gardens in the United States. Children were a major target audience of the examined public gardens, followed by adults, families, and youth. Public children’s gardens tended to offer more programs overall compared with public gardens without children’s gardens. In addition, there was a greater diversity of children’s education programs offered (classified into 10 topics and 11 activities) in public children’s gardens. The most frequently offered topics were plants (39.1%), animals (22.0%), and art (11.3%). Observation was the most frequently offered activity (17.1%), followed by visual art (14.4%). However, the proportions of offered programs significantly differed across individual public children’s gardens. The subjects (i.e., topics and activities) offered by children’s education programs were more often directed toward younger children. Education coordinators and horticulture directors were asked about desired improvements to children’s education programs. A large number of respondents (50) indicated a need to develop programs with greater topical variety, revealing a desire to diversify programs. In conclusion, the results of this study indicate that it is important to diversify the natural environmental experiences of education programs for children through developing children’s gardens and agespecific education at public children’s gardens in the United States.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-82
Number of pages13
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Feb

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, American Society for Horticultural Science. All rights reserved.


  • Botanical garden
  • Curriculum
  • Environment
  • GIS
  • Nature
  • School garden

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Horticulture


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