Distribution and Characteristics of Children's Gardens in the United States

Monday, July 22, 2013
Desert Ballroom: Salons 7-8 (Desert Springs J.W Marriott Resort )
Min Hyeong Kwon , Korea University, Seoul, Korea, Republic of (South)
Chun Ho Pak , Korea University, Seoul, Korea, Republic of (South)
Chiwon W. Lee , Department of Plant Sciences, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND
A survey was carried out to identify and characterize children’s gardens as a component of public gardens in the United States. Based on the public gardens listed by six different organizations and six other public records, survey questionnaires were sent out to those public gardens containing children’s gardens, and data were collected from October, 2010 to December, 2012. The survey results revealed that 17.0% (163) of the 959 public gardens and arboreta located throughout the 50 states and District of Columbia in America contained children’s gardens. In addition, a total of 16 public gardens (1.7%) were in the process of constructing children’s gardens, with 56 of them (5.8%) planning to open new children’s gardens by the end of June, 2013. Of the public gardens and arboreta surveyed, about 57.1% of children’s gardens are contained in botanical gardens. Among the public gardens operating children’s gardens, about 53.4% and 21.9% have less than 1% and 1% to 2%, respectively, of the their total ground area being used for children’s gardens. Hence, children’s gardens are relatively small with about 70% of the public gardens providing less than 2% of their ground areas used for children’s garden. Of the four geographic regions (Northeast, Midwest, South, West) surveyed, the southern region had the largest number of children’s gardens. Among the 50 states and District of Columbia, California had the largest number of children’s gardens, while Wyoming, Georgia, and Montana were ranked as top three states having one children’s garden per 3,733, 4,384, and 7,487 children (ages 1–12), respectively. The relationship between the growth in the number of children’s gardens and trends in the gross domestic products (GDP) and real gross domestic products (real GDP) showed a positive correlation statistically. There was also a positive correlation between the number of children’s gardens and the state’s population density and number of children (ages 1–12). The largest number of respondents (38.5%) indicated “to provide environmental experience with plants and nature through the gardens as the main purpose of establishing children’s gardens.