, Volume 47, Issue 3-4, pp 374-387
Date: 11 Jan 2011

Community Gardening: A Parsimonious Path to Individual, Community, and Environmental Resilience

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Abstract

The goal of this paper is to introduce community gardening as a promising method of furthering well-being and resilience on multiple levels: individual, social group, and natural environment. We examine empirical evidence for the benefits of gardening, and we advocate the development and testing of social ecological models of community resilience through examination of the impact of community gardens, especially in urban areas. The definition of community is extended beyond human social ties to include connections with other species and the earth itself, what Berry (1988) has called an Earth community. We discuss the potential contribution of an extensive network of community gardens to easing the global climate change crisis and address the role of community psychologists in community gardening research and policy-oriented action.