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Gardening Grows Communities and Healthier Households

Gardens provide food, fun,
beautification...gardens are a way for communities to work together around common interests. 

Using your common areas to create community gardens can be a project that engages your members and provide tangible rewards.

Creating specialty gardens for persons with disabilities can expand the participation of 'special need' tenants in your group's activities. 

Creating gardening opportunities on your doorstep.




New Research On Community Gardening Reveals the Roots of Emotional and Physical Health  Science Daily June 20, 2011
Jill Litt, PhD, author and associate professor at the University of Colorado School of Public Health and University of Colorado Boulder has been studying neighborhoods and health over the past decade. Litt 's research has shown that places such as community gardens matter in terms of neighborhood quality and people's health. "Community gardens may provide a way to enhance neighborhood environments while also promoting health and well being through economic, social and physical changes. Gardens yield fresh food, bring 'nature' to urban areas, bridge ethnically, economically and age diverse communities, promote neighborhood beauty, build skills and knowledge of everyday life, strengthen community capacity and one's sense of community, and promote active and healthy lifestyles" said Litt.
read the summary article here  journal article is here

Safety?  Community Gardens Don't Reduce Crime...but they do improve community self esteem
    According to the study, while anecdotal evidence has pointed to a reduction in crime surrounding community gardens, this research did not support that premise or show that the presence of a community garden can be used as a predictor for the number of property crimes.
But crime data accounted for only one element of the study; input from residents showed another, more hopeful outcome. The scientists found that people living in community garden areas reported the gardens to be a positive influence on their neighborhoods. Residents linked the presence of the gardens to neighborhood revitalization and perceived immunity from crime, noting changes such as the cessation of illegal activity, including dumping and/or drug activity, increased property values, and increased neighborhood redevelopment.
    Therefore, noted the researchers, though the actual numbers of property crimes did not indicate a difference, residents of the community garden areas perceived their neighborhoods to be safer because of the gardens.  More here
original study (read the abstract for free) here

 How do you get started?
  • Get permission to use space (6 hours of direct sun a day) and water.
  • Get expert help in your area.
  • Recruit gardeners, make rules to govern the garden.  Size of plots, fighting pests-human and insect, do you need disability gardens?
  • Hold a Kick off event
  • Hold a Harvest Fair
Who can help plan a garden project?
  • Your County Cooperative Extension office
  • Local foodbanks, soup kitchens, food advocacy groups
  • Local college, university, churches
  • Local gardeners and farmers
  • Many web sites, just google "community gardens"...Here is a really nice one.
What are some examples?

share your story with us at

A good news story from Athens.  Carriage
Hill partners with CFI for second garden season

Athens Messenger reports that "The Carriage Hill Community Garden, created in partnership with Community Food Initiatives, is in its second growing season at Carriage Hill Apartments. Carriage Hill" After a chance meeting in 2012 with one of CFI’s volunteers, Carriage Hill Community Manager Bob Freund found out there was a need for a new garden location on the southside of Athens. He offered a location at Carriage Hill with sunshine all day, good soil and access to water. In 2013, Carriage Hill and community residents snapped up the 20 10x10 plots. Local children in the 4-H Extension also used some of the plots for their gardening projects. They grew vegetables in the plots and then sold them at the Athens Farmers Market." Carriage Hill apartments is owned and managed by Wallick Communities.


 Notes & Links
Disability Gardens

Finding an expert

Grants for Gardens    

Youth Garden Grants


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