A community garden means many things to many people. For some, a community garden is a place to grow food, flowers, and herbs in the company of friends and neighbors. For others, it is a place to reconnect with nature or get physical exercise.
Community gardening has the potential to offer a range of benefits to individuals, families, communities, and the environment. Benefits include:
Food Production - Community gardens allow people to grow high quality fruits and vegetables for themselves, their families, and their communities.
Nutrition - Some research indicates that community gardeners eat more fruits and vegetables than non-gardening families.
Exercise - Gardening requires physical activity and helps improve the overall physical health of gardeners.
Mental Health - Interacting with plants and nature helps reduce stress and increase a gardener's sense of wellness and belonging.
Community - Community gardens foster a sense of community, identity, ownership and stewardship among gardeners. They provide a place for people of diverse backgrounds to interact and share cultural traditions.
Environment - Gardens help reduce the heat island effect in cities, increase biodiversity, reduce run-off from rain, recycle local organic materials and reduce fossil fuel use from long distance food transport.
Learning - People of all ages can acquire and share skills and knowledge related to gardening, cooking, nutrition, health, culture, etc.
Youth - Community gardens provide a place for supervised youth to explore gardening, nature, and community.
Above all, community gardening can provide a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment for all.