Community garden impact study in Athens, Georgia
Ingwers, Laura Anne
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Community gardens in Athens, Georgia provide the community with sustainable, local produce, but little quantitative data has been collected on their effectiveness. This study presents findings from eight community gardens in the Athens area that are owned and maintained by different community groups. An original questionnaire was created and pilot tested before being given to 43 participants to determine who was using these gardens and if the gardens were creating a measurable impact. The results indicated that volunteering or receiving food from the garden increased participants’ sense of community (81.37%), gardening skills (69.7%), ability to identify fresh produce (83.8%), and sense of pride in the food they grow (80%). Participants also reported having a better knowledge of the health benefits of fresh produce (88.1%). With the current lack of quantitative data on community gardens, studies such as this could help acquire funds to support additional growth in sustainable agriculture.