The Many Benefits of Community Gardens
Community gardens are semi-public spaces shared by a community of neighbors and other people where they collectively participate in growing fruits, vegetables, or flowers, sharing labor and harvest. It's great to get involved in these sustainable projects as they're equally beneficial for you, the community, and the environment.
Community gardens are found in neighborhoods, but can also be created in schools, residential lands, or institutions, such as hospitals. If you are thinking of contributing to a community garden, we highly recommend it because of its many benefits.
Here's what community gardens can do for you and the community in which we currently live:
Help the Environment
Community gardens help improve air and soil quality, increase plant biodiversity and livestock, improve water filtration, and reduce neighborhood waste and food trucking miles. These positive changes to the local environment collectively contribute to reducing overall air pollution.
In addition, these changes also improve the social and ecological aspects of our environment.
- Some of the environmental benefits of community gardens include:
- Restoration of vacant land and ecosystems by repurposing them
- Production and upgrading of water infiltration and other ecosystem services
- Promotion of biodiversity by planting native plants
- Educating the community about gardening, urban agriculture, and their benefits
- Reduction of food transport lessening air pollution
- Promotion of sustainable agriculture practices
- Fostering social inclusion
The above environmental benefits show the overall importance of community gardens and their contribution to providing habitat for organisms and food to the locals, eliminating food insecurity.
Contribute to the Achievement of Sustainable Development Goals
Access to these urban green spaces can contribute to compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the achievement of several Sustainable Development Goals, such as 11.7, according to which every individual should have universal access to safe green and public spaces, inclusive and accessible, in particular for women and children, the elderly and people with disabilities, or 12.8, which seeks to ensure that there should be awareness among people worldwide about the lifestyle that is in harmony with nature.
Community gardens contribute to achieving these goals as they are accessible to all regardless of class, age, gender, education, occupation, etc., and play a huge role in raising awareness and knowledge about gardening and urban agriculture among the citizens.
Offer Innumerable Opportunities
Community gardens highlight a need for city dwellers to return to nature. Gardens take various forms with objectives that can be social, educational, or cultural.
- A way to get closer to nature by following environmentalist values
- Spaces of social diversity where conviviality and exchanges abound
- Places that promote the integration of disadvantaged groups or people with disabilities into the social fabric
- A way to improve your living environment (for people living in apartments and having little green space at their disposal)
- A place of neighborhood entertainment, to hold cultural events and outdoor parties
- The opportunity to grow vegetables, fruits, and herbs at low cost
- An opportunity to move and exercise in the fresh air by devoting a few hours a week to gardening and maintaining your garden plot
- The opportunity to share and exchange with other people products from the harvest
- Opportunities to raise awareness and educate people about environmental respect through techniques such as composting, organic gardening, rainwater harvesting, etc.
An Improved Lifestyle and a Return to Traditions
Community gardens produce delicious, fresh, self-grown fruits and vegetables, which you're sure are grown organically, without chemicals or pesticides. Having grown fruits and vegetables will strongly encourage you to eat more of them, which is not negligible for your lifestyle and health. Plus, it eliminates food insecurity in neighborhoods which is a noble goal.
Working in a shared garden allows a return to true values. The evolution of the consumer society, the lack of time, and many other factors lead us more and more towards purchasing products in stores. Even though there are organic stores, it's not the same as eating fresh produce.
This activity also allows you to act with an eco-responsible attitude: eat organic, eat local, and learn natural gardening techniques.
Make the City Beautiful
The advantage which can bring a lot, all the same, is the embellishment that the community garden brings to the municipality through its shapes and the different luminous colors of various fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Of course, the community garden is not strictly restricted to cultivating edible plants.
A community garden gets rid of dirt, debris, and other waste filling empty spaces in cities. Also, a side benefit of having prettier cities is that it increases property values.
Increase Real Estate Value
More, and more citizens are looking for accommodation close to a community garden. As a result, these homes are in high demand, and their value is rising!
Research shows that the presence of a green space less than 100 meters from a dwelling can increase its value by 1.9%. In addition, homes with good energy performance are also more valued during a sale.
The Discovery of Many Horizons
Indeed, community gardens are accessible to all because the spaces to be cultivated are generously loaned in return for services or offered at a very affordable rental rate. This allows no one to be excluded in the implementation of this concept.
You will thus be able to discover people from different regions, from all social backgrounds, and of all ages and share your passion for gardening with other enthusiasts who will nevertheless be different in various aspects. This is a significant personal enrichment without forgetting that it will also allow your children to discover and open up to the diversity of the people while discovering the pleasure of the land and quality food.
You will also have the opportunity to organize entertainment activities, to share convivial summer meals among gardening enthusiasts, and why not invite the members of your family there for pleasant moments in the heart of nature?
Our Final Words
Thus, community gardens are no longer just a hobby or a place to grow healthy food but have become places of education where people learn new skills like composting and recycling, a gathering place that promotes socialization and intercultural relations, and a source of food that offers interesting solutions for people with difficulties.
The countless benefits of community gardens indicate the need for having more of these green spaces in cities and the need for initiatives in this regard. This also points toward the role of citizens in contributing to the development of community gardens by supporting organizations dedicated to this mission, such as Stein Learning Gardens at St. Sabina.
The Sabina Learning Gardens team is committed to providing high-quality garden education among community members and eradicating food insecurity in Auburn Gresham. The team holds different community programs in this regard to create positive learning experiences and encourage healthy lifestyles among people.
Become a volunteer and lend a helping hand to the Sabina Learning Gardens team and contribute to the development of community gardens and elimination of food insecurity in Auburn Gresham.