Benefits

 

BENEFITS OF A COMMUNITY GARDEN AT WESLEY CHURCH

Food Production

• Community gardens allow families and individuals without land of their own the opportunity to produce food.

• Community gardens provide access to nutritionally rich foods that may otherwise be unavailable to low-income families and individuals.

• Urban agriculture is 3-5 times more productive per acre than traditional large-scale farming!

• Community gardens donate thousands of pounds of fresh produce to food pantries and involve people in processes that provide food security and alleviate hunger. 

Health

• Studies have shown that community gardeners and their children eat healthier diets than do non-gardening families.

• Eating locally produced food reduces asthma rates, because children are able to consume manageable amounts of local pollen and develop immunities.

• Exposure to green space reduces stress and increases a sense of wellness and belonging.

• Increasing the consumption of fresh local produce is one of the best ways to address childhood lead poisoning.

Community Organizing

• Community gardens offer a focal point for community organizing, and can lead to community-based efforts to deal with other social concerns.

• Community gardens increase a sense of community ownership and stewardship.

• Community gardens bring people together from a wide variety of backgrounds (age, race, culture, social class).

 

Crime Prevention

• Community gardens provide opportunities to meet neighbors.

• Community gardens increase eyes on the street.

• Community gardening is recognized by the many police departments as an effective community crime prevention strategy.

Cultural Opportunities

• Community gardens allow people from diverse backgrounds to work side-by-side on common goals without speaking the same language.

• Community gardens offer unique opportunities for new immigrants (who tend to be concentrated in low-income urban communities) to:

  – Produce traditional crops otherwise unavailable locally,

  – Take advantage of the experience of elders to produce a significant amount of food for the household

  – Provide inter-generational exposure to cultural traditions,

  – Offer a cultural exchange with other gardeners,

Youth

Community gardens offer unique opportunities to teach youth about:

• Where food comes from

• Practical math skills

• The importance of community and stewardship

• Issues of environmental sustainability

• Job and life skills

• Community gardening is a healthy, inexpensive activity for youth that can bring them closer to nature, and allow them to interact with each other in a socially meaningful and physically productive way.

Green Space

• Community gardens add beauty to the community and heighten people’s awareness and appreciation for living things.

• Community gardens filter rainwater, helping to keep lakes, rivers, and groundwater clean.

• Community gardens restore oxygen to the air and help to reduce air pollution.

• Community gardens recycle huge volumes of tree trimmings, leaves, grass clippings, and other organic wastes back into the soil.

• Community gardens provide a place to retreat from the noise and commotion of urban environments.

• Community gardens provide much needed green space in lower-income neighborhoods which typically have access to less green space than do other parts of the community.

• Development and maintenance of garden space is less expensive than that of parkland.

• Scientific studies show that crime decreases in neighborhoods as the amount of green space increases.

• Community gardens have been shown to actually increase property values in the immediate vicinity where they are located.

 Notes:

We thank St. Paul Park and Recreation for posting a list of community gardening benefits on their website.  The GICD version is mainly from that source with a couple of additions.  Any list of benefits can never be complete.  http://www.stpaul.gov/depts/parks/environment/gardens/index.html

One response to “Benefits

  1. Cindy McAllister

    Through our recent employee survey, a few employees at Martin Guitar have expressed an interest in Community Gardening. Can you provide specific contact information to me so that I may distribute this information to our employee base?

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