Sustainability via Active Garden Education: The Sustainability Action Plan Model and Process

Rebecca E. Lee, Jacob Szeszulski, Elizabeth Lorenzo, Anel Arriola, Meg Bruening, Paul A. Estabrooks, Jennie L. Hill, Teresia M. O’connor, Gabriel Q. Shaibi, Erica G. Soltero, Michael Todd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sustainability of intervention programming is challenging to achieve under real world conditions, since few models exist and many studies do not plan far beyond the funding period. Programming content in early care and education centers (ECECs) is often driven by guidelines. However, implementation is very sensitive to contextual factors, such as the setting and implementer (teacher) characteristics. This paper presents the model, definitions, and methodology used for the sustainability action plan capitalizing on a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach, developed for a multi-site, multi-level garden-based childhood obesity prevention study, Sustainability via Active Garden Education (SAGE). The Ecologic Model of Obesity is applied to develop a sustainability action plan (SAP) and accompanying measures to link early care and education (ECE) environment, the community, policies, and classroom practices to an early childhood obesity prevention program. The SAGE SAP provides an example of how to iteratively evaluate and refine sustainability processes for an obesity prevention intervention utilizing CBPR approaches and will be applied to assess the sustainability of SAGE in a cluster randomized controlled trial. This SAP model can also help inform intervention delivery and scalability within ECECs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5511
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2022


  • children
  • community
  • diet
  • early care and education
  • intervention study
  • organization
  • physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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