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Karen Stoelzle Midden

Developing public awareness of the intricate relationship between people and their environment is critical to effectively deal with the increasing demands of population growth and man's ability to manipulate the environment. A holistic and practical understanding of these concerns should be introduced to young people. Evaluations of an environmental gaming/simulation for young people indicate that it offers a creative method of heightening awareness and insights into the value of master planning. This gaming/simulation (EGS) simulates the development of a subdivision in which the participants are the planners. Each participant assumes a different role with differing interest, but they must work together as decision-makers. EGS does not give the “correct” answers to living in an environmentally perfect world. It is simply a tool to increase the participants awareness of environmental concerns, to teach the value of planning, exploring alternatives, and to give an understanding of the relationships between the elements in the game.

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Karen Stoelzle Midden and Mark Hamley

A cooperative project between Turtle Mountain Tribal Community College and Southern Illinois University (SIU) completed a master plan for the Anishinabe Culture and Wellness Center in Belcourt, N.D. The project involved four SIUC undergraduate landscape horticulture students and the researcher visiting the 100-acre site, students and faculty of the Community College, as well as residents of the reservation. The purpose of the project was to: 1) explore developing a distance learning landscape horticulture program as a model project; 2) offer hands-on learning experience for the undergraduates; and 3) develop a master plan for a cultural, wellness, and environmental educational center. Developing the master plan involved four stages conducted by SIUC and Turtle Mountain participants. This included an inventory of the site and surrounding area, visiting classes at Turtle Mountain Tribal College, and interviewing numerous people from the reservation. An analysis was completed to review desired activities, such as a native plant garden, medicine wheel garden, pow wow site, and an outdoor kitchen, in relation to physical and observed features of the site. Environmental concerns, including water quality of the lake, were also addressed in the analysis. A master plan was completed after design concepts were explored. Future goals to complete the Anishinabe project include educational workshops and seeking funds to implement the master plan. Participants felt that the learning exercise for this model project was rewarding and successful. Therefore, SIUC and Turtle Mountain will continue to develop distance learning opportunities for students and potentially invite other tribal colleges with an interest in landscape horticulture to be involved.

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Karen Stoelzle Midden and Jessica Chambers

A childrens' garden was designed and installed in a preschool facility to determine if the garden was effective in increasing the children's respect and knowledge of a garden ecosystem. Evaluation of the children's involvement with the garden revealed it to be effectively incorporated into a multidisciplinary curriculum. The children's experience with the garden was a first step in developing environmental sensitivity while providing an opportunity for the staff to experience a garden as an educational tool.

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Tom Barnicle and Karen Stoelzle Midden

This study investigated the effects of indoor horticulture activities on the current psychological well-being of older people in two long-term care facilities over a 7-week period. Thirty-one participants at one facility served as the control group. Thirty-one participants at another facility served as the horticulture group. Participants in both facilities continued with their normal daily routine and activities over the 7-week period; however, the horticulture group participated in a 1-hour horticulture activity session once a week over the 7-week period and the control group did not. The control group and horticulture group did not differ significantly in psychological well-being prior to the start of the study. After the 7-week program, the horticulture group had a significant increase in psychological well-being, whereas the control group had a slight decrease in psychological well-being. The results of this study indicate that horticulture activities may have a beneficial effect on the current psychological well-being of older people in a long-term care facility.

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Karen Stoelzle Midden, Paul Henry, and Amy Boren

Online courses are easily accessible and have the potential to attract and recruit a diversity of students. The instructors [also the principal investigators (PIs)] of an online certificate program in landscape horticulture have completed the first of a 3-year project in an effort to provide landscape horticulture courses, including an option for a certificate, to traditional and nontraditional students. The certification, consisting of 20 credit hours, will be the first of its type in Illinois offered by an institution of higher education. The program is aimed toward traditional college students who may need additional college credit, and nontraditional students who are pursuing certification out of interest in career goals or needing continuing education. The Chicago Botanic Garden, a cooperator in this project, has been a driving force for creation of this program and feels that there is a substantial demand among its clientele. It is being funded by the SIUC Office of the Provost and Vice Chancellor Distance Learning Grant. Year one of this project focused on review and revision of curriculum material of six existing courses taught by the PIs. The PIs are working closely with the university's instructional support for the courses to be delivered by WebCT. To date, the “Appreciation of Landscape Design” course has received the most emphasis in the conversion. This poster session will summarize the project to date and projected benefits of this online program.