Linking Horticulture with Human Well-Being
Mission and Strategy
The People-Plant Council (PPC) was formed as a result of the national interdisciplinary symposium, "The Role of Horticulture in Human Well-being and Social Development," held in 1990. The mission of this Council is to document and communicate the effect that plants have on human well-being and improved life-quality. It is carried out through a three-part strategy focusing on the psychological, sociological, physiological, economic, and environmental effects of plants on people:
- communication - maintaining an interdisciplinary network among researchers, funders, users, and Council affiliates.
- research - encouraging cooperative efforts to identify research priorities and establish interdisciplinary research methodologies
- public awareness - encouraging the use of horticulture for enhanced life-quality based on research findings
PPC is not a membership organization, rather a link or affiliation between organizations. Affiliation is open to all organizations within the horticulture and social science communities and allied or interested organizations to include, but not to be limited to: academic and professional associations; trade and commercial associations, and volunteer, civic, amateur and concerned groups. For information on affiliation, write to the PPC.
Benefits of Supporting PPC:
By supporting the People-Plant Council, you will ensure
- an increase in the use of plants in all areas of modern life
- expansion of the research basis for human benefits from plants and flowers
- an increase of information for communicating the value of both active gardening and the presence of plants in public, commercial, and residential settings.
- access to researchers with knowledge about the value of people-plant interaction
- improved quality of life and human well-being
PPC accepts contributions to support its goals. Contributors include commercial horticultural businesses, public relations and consulting firms, foundations, endowments, and individuals who have a commitment to the mission of the Council and seek to support its goals and fund it's operational strategies.
Researchers, educators, and others, use the services of the People-Plant Council, including a quarterly newsletter, periodic update reports, access to computerized information, and conference/educational program registration with a cost-of-service fee. As this is not a membership organization, individuals can receive the PPC newsletter and other information by submitting their names to the mailing list.
PPC Accomplishment Report: 1990-1995
For its five-year history, the People-Plant Council has many accomplishments:
- establishment of research priorities in HIH and an increase in number of graduate students in this field;
- co-sponsored four international symposia: Arlington, VA, with Virginia Tech in 1990; East Rutherford, NJ, with Rutgers in 1992; Davis, CA, with the University of California at Davis in 1994; and San Antonio, TX, with Texas A&M for 1996;
- a symposium held at the International Horticulture Congress of the International Society of Horticultural Sciences (ISHS), August 1994, in Kyoto, Japan;
- Proceedings available from four symposia: 1990 symposium proceedings, The Role of Horticulture in Human Well-Being and Social Development, published by Timber Press; 1992 symposium proceedings, People-Plant Relationships: Setting Research Priorities, published by Hayworth Press; 1994 symposium proceedings, The Healing Dimensions of People-Plant Interaction, published by University of California Press; 1994 ISHS symposium proceedings, Horticulture in Human Life, Culture, and Environment, in Acta Horticulturae No. 391 (available through International Society for Horticultural Science; K. Mercierlaan 92; 3001 Leuven, BELGIUM);
- the development of two annotated bibliographies: one addressing People-Plant Interaction and related research from a broad perspective (1,542 citations), and one focusing on Horticultural Therapy (1,183 citations); as well as a listing of books on children's gardening;
- the production of two videotapes discussing aspects of People-Plant Interaction;
- AFE and HRI have expanded funding in this research area;
- a special issue of the ASHS journal, HortTechnology, focusing on Human Issues in Horticulture was published in 1992; a second special issue on Horticulture Meeting Special Needs was published in July 1995;
- the development of this area into an official comittee of the American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta, the expansion of activities in ASHS, and the inclusion into the USDA Research Priorities developed by Dr. Marc Cathey;
- the establishment of a mailing list of 1,213 U.S.A. and 213 international addresses; an electronic bulletin board, HIH-L;
- mailing of four newsletters per year from which information is printed in numerous trade and professional journals;
- answering, on the average, 15 to 20 letters and/or telephone calls each week requesting information;
- new courses offered at Clemson University in the area of HIH, titled Horticulture and Human Well-Being and Garden Experiences in Youth Development.
Funding of these activities has been through volunteer actions and affiliation contributions from industry and professional associations and the sale of the symposium proceedings, bibliographies and videotapes.
To have your name put on the mailing list to receive the
People-Plant Council newsletter, please send your name to:
Dr. Diane Relf,
Office of Environmental Horticulture
Blacksburg, VA 24061-0327
Telephone: (540) 231-6254
Affiliates of PPC
Major Contributors to PPC
on People-Plant Interaction Research
"The fact that we market a product that is good for people's mental and physical well-being places the horticulture industry in an enviable position. The more that our products are used, the better it is for the environment. A leadership role must be taken to encourage and fund research in this area, to communicate research findings to the public, and to establish programs to ensure the application of these research findings."
-- Robert Dolibois, Executive Vice-President
American Association of Nurserymen
"Unfortunately, intuitive arguments in favor of plants usually make little impression on financially pressed local or state governments or on developers concerned with the bottom line. Politicians, faced with urgent problems, such as homelessness or drugs, may dismiss plants as unwarranted luxuries. The lack of research on plant benefits also has tended to reduce spending for plants in other important settings, such as workplaces, healthcare facilities, and outdoor areas of apartment complexes."
-- Roger S. Ulrich, Associate Dean for Research
Texas A&M University
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