100 Gardens on the Reservation: a study on health and gardening

How do gardens impact family health on the reservation? The first meeting held between the Growing Resilience Advisory Board and members of the Growing Resilience Project Team went well Tuesday at the Frank B. Wise Building in Fort Washakie.
The goal of the Growing Resilience project is to support 100 tribal families over a 5-year span on the Wind River Reservation start a home food garden and to measure the effects of home gardens on individual health. Collaboration with the University of Wyoming, Tribal Health Programs, Blue Mountain Associates, and the board are helping with data collection, qualitative research and recruitment, and helping families build home gardens.
The six-member board discussed its objective during the meeting, which is to make sure the community needs will be met by the project and its partners.
This year 10 families will be getting two 4x10-foot raised beds built by Blue Mountain Associates with Jim Sutter and his garden staff, who are soon to be master gardeners. In August, data will be collected again from these 10 families as well as the 8 “control” families who will receive their gardens in 2018. Each family also receives cash for participating in data collection.
"We estimate building to start this Friday and will go on into next week for each of the 10 selected families," Jim said, weather permitting.
“Over the next four years,” Christine Porter of the University of Wyoming said, “we need 82 more families who live on the Wind River Reservation who would like to start a garden and participate in measuring the health effects.”
The idea is to research and compare the health of families with gardens and families without. The health data being collected include body mass index, blood pressure, hand strength, survey data, and blood draws, with the hope being that the gardening will help improve family health upon the Wind River Reservation.
Any questions about participation or qualifications are advised to contact Project Manager Alyssa Wechsler by phone or by email: (307)399-3247 Families can also contact Eastern Shoshone Tribal Health or Etheleen Potter. More information is available at the Growing Resilience website