Community Strengthening
Crime Prevention
Cultural Opportunities
Food Production
Green Space
Our Planet

Community Strengthening  

  • Community gardens increase a sense of community ownership and stewardship.
  • Community gardens foster the development of a community identity and spirit.
  • Community gardens bring people together from a wife variety of age, race, culture, and social class.
  • Community gardens build community leaders.
  • Community gardens offer a focal point for community organizing, and can lead to community-based efforts to deal with other social concerns.

Crime Prevention

  • Community gardens provide opportunities to meet neighbors.
  • Community gardens build block clubs (neighborhood associations).
  • 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 offer unique oppmother gardener with son on backortunities 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
–    Provide inter-generational exposure to cultural traditions
–    Offer a cultural exchange with other gardeners
–    Share community info, form block clubs and neighborhood groups.  

  • Community gardens offer neighborhoods an access point to non-English speaking communities.
  • 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 to teach youth about:  

  • Where food comes from
  • Practical math skills
  • Basic business principles
  • 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.

Food Production

  • Many community gardhothouse food growingeners, especially those from immigrant communities, take advantage of food production in community gardens to provide a significant source of food and/or income.

    • 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.


  • 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.
  • The benefits of Horticulture Therapy can be and are used to great advantage in community gardens.

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.frog at temple garden
  • 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.

Our Planet

  • Reduces our Carbon Footprint.  Food in the United States travels an average of 1300 miles from farm to fork, changes hands half a dozen times, and consumes 10 calories of fossil-fuel energy to produce a single calorie of modern supermarket food (Kloppenburg, Hendrickson and Stevenson, 1996, p. 33, 42; Pollan, 2008).
  • Producing food locally greatly reduces the greenhouse gas emissions related to transportation of food. Fruits and vegetables sold in supermarkets spend as many as 7 to 14 days in transit. During this time, almost 50% of the transported food is lost to spoilage. Locally grown food reduces or eliminates this transit time, helping to greatly reduce waste.   


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