Current Environmental Health Reports

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 302–312 | Cite as

Amplifying Health Through Community Gardens: A Framework for Advancing Multicomponent, Behaviorally Based Neighborhood Interventions

  • Katherine Alaimo
  • Alyssa W. Beavers
  • Caroline Crawford
  • Elizabeth Hodges Snyder
  • Jill S. LittEmail author
Food, Health, and the Environment (KE Nachman, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Food, Health, and the Environment


The article presents a framework for understanding the relationship between community garden participation, and the myriad ways gardens and participation lead to emotional, social, and health impacts. Existing empirical research relating community gardens to health behaviors, such as physical activity and diet, and longer-term chronic disease-related outcomes is summarized. The research areas discussed include the effects of community garden participation on individual, social, emotional, and environmental processes; health behaviors including diet and physical activity; and health outcomes such as self-rated health, obesity, and mental health. Other mechanisms through which community gardens may affect population health are described. Applying a multitheoretical lens to explore associations between community garden participation and health enables us to delineate key aspects of gardening that elicit positive health behaviors and multifactorial health assets that could be applied to designing other types of health interventions.


Gardening Community gardens Health Diet Physical activity Neighborhood 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Katherine Alaimo, Alyssa W. Beavers, Caroline Crawford, Elizabeth Hodges Snyder, and Jill S. Litt declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants conducted by the authors were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of outstanding importance

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katherine Alaimo
    • 1
  • Alyssa W. Beavers
    • 1
  • Caroline Crawford
    • 2
  • Elizabeth Hodges Snyder
    • 3
  • Jill S. Litt
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Food Science and Human NutritionMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  2. 2.East LansingUSA
  3. 3.Department of Health SciencesUniversity of Alaska AnchorageAnchorageUSA
  4. 4.University of Colorado BoulderBoulderUSA

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