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Research on Barriers to Participation in Community Gardening

  • Subject: [cg] Research on Barriers to Participation in Community Gardening
  • From: "Robert Kirkby" <kirkbyro@pilot.msu.edu>
  • Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2001 15:19:35 -0500
  • Importance: Normal

I am doing some initial research on the topic of barriers to participation in community gardening.Specifically, Iím interested in examining existing community gardens and establishing a method of evaluating them in terms of quality (i.e. lack of barriers).I am looking at currently developed gardens that are underused and facing a decline in participation.My hunch is that the locations and quality of the garden sites are prohibitive to success.In the gardens that I am reviewing, there are fairly severe problems with drainage, proximity to where gardeners live, and/or poor soil quality.As a result, there is a serious lack of productivity leading to a high rate of gardener turn-over due to crop failure.


My goal is to develop a method of evaluating the gardens and then use this to document the conditions that gardeners must endure.Hopefully, this information can be helpful in moving community gardening up the food chain of urban land use planning.My argument is this: In order for community gardening to reach its full potential of providing locally grown vegetables to low-income citizens, we need to assure that all of the basic infra-structure needs are in place (removal of barriers).


If anyone has information or comments on the following, please contact me:


1)       Iíd like to establish a baseline of what a community gardenís need.Are there specific resources that you use to evaluate a siteís potential as a community garden?This includes the basic ingredients such as soil, location, proximity to gardener homes, slope, water access, security, etc.

2)       What other research in this area currently exists?

3)       Is this a prevalent problem within other communities?


Thank you,


Bob Kirkby,

Graduate Assistant,

Department of Resource Development,

Michigan State University

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