Community gardening is one way to get your hands dirty if you don’t have space for your own garden at home. The definition of a community garden is fairly open and includes gardens of vegetable, flowers, or other plants. Community gardens can be found at schools, in open space in your neighborhood, at local community centers, businesses, or anywhere else there’s an available plot of land. In college, I lived in University Family Housing, and we even had a community garden at the complex.
The American Community Garden Association (ACGA) notes that there are many proven benefits to community gardens, such as…
- Improves the quality of life for people in the garden
- Provides a catalyst for neighborhood and community development
- Stimulates Social Interaction
- Encourages Self-Reliance
- Beautifies Neighborhoods
- Produces Nutritious Food
- Reduces Family Food Budgets
- Conserves Resources
- Creates opportunity for recreation, exercise, therapy, and education
- Reduces Crime
- Preserves Green Space
- Creates income opportunities and economic development
- Reduces city heat from streets and parking lots
- Provides opportunities for intergenerational and cross-cultural connections
However, I think community gardens are also good for trying out gardens. If you’ve never gardened, a community garden helps you decide if gardening is for you.
Locating a community garden:
I’ve lived in four states in the last 7 years and there were community gardens near each of my homes. There’s likely one near you. ACGA has a community garden locater you can use and offers tips on how you can start your own community garden.
[image via stock.xchng]