A community garden is more than a good idea among a select group of people; it is a community model for healthy living. Denver Urban Gardens and the Colorado School of Public Health performed a community-based research initiative, to explore how gardens, as neighborhood places, support healthy living. Here are some of their key findings:
100% of community gardeners stated that their main reasons for gardening were to be outside in nature and to get their hands dirty. Almost 80% of them gardened as children.
More than 50% of community gardeners meet national guidelines for fruit and vegetable intake, compared to 25% of non-gardeners.
As well as eating better and being more active, gardeners are more involved in social activities, view their neighborhood as more beautiful, and have stronger ties to their neighbors.
95% of community gardeners give away some of the produce they grow to friends, family and people in need; 60% specifically donate to food assistance programs.
In addition to more positive rating of physical and mental health, gardeners see the world differently...emotionally, spiritually and culturally, as well as socially and environmentally.
Community gardens promote stronger neighborhood leadership, outreach, and volunteerism.
88% of people who do not garden want to see gardens in their neighborhood.
This spring consider joining a community garden or just visit one. They are good for you, your family, your neighbors, and your environment. If you don't have a community garden near you, talk to your neighbors and start one. There are national and local resources available to help you get started. Someone has to plant the first seed. Maybe it is you.