2-Characteristics of Community Garden Programs Funded by California Healthy Cities and Communities (CHCC)
Lead Department CHCC Support,
years)EscondidoLoma UndaOceartsideSan BernardinoWest HollywoodCommunityDevelopmentBiock Grant(CDBG)City ManagerHousing andNeighbortioodSen/icesPublic ServicesHuman Services75000(over
yeafs)38000(over 2 years)75000(over 3 years)25000(ovef 1 year)75000(over
years}FundingSources'' Priority PopulationNetwork
NetworkFA, Network, TCWF Yoitti, ethnically diverseEthnically diverseEthnically diverseEthnically diverse
inter^enetational,ethnically diverseResultsEstablished 1 school garden and 1 day care center
existing school gardens; provided supplies to 3000 gardeners; openeda Farmer's Market in West Berkeley; provided nutrition or physical activityeducation (or both) to 1800 residents; passed the Berkeley Food andNutrition Policy.Established
gardens with 228 garden plots involving 600 gardeners;opened a greenhouse to support year-round gardening; passed the"Adopt-A-Lot" policy to encourage the interim use of vacant land forgardens: approved
no cost water policy for gardens on city property.Established
garden with 52 plots involving over 40 gardeners. Increasedaverage consumption of fruits and vegetables amcng 35% of gardenersfrom
to 3.71 servings per day.Established
gardens involving 85 households; started
schoolgardens involving 115 student gardeners; added 10 plots to
garden serving seniors. Of the 228 residents receiving nutrition
86% indicated an intent to improve eating habits.Established
school gardens involving 127 students; increased thenumber of students gardening at home by 20%; approved the Vacant LotBeautification Program that allows public use of private land andcity-owned vacant lots to establish gardens or pocket parks.Established
school gardens involving 460 students; designated
plotsat 2 community gardens for school use; started contamer gardeningprograms at 3 schools; increased weekly physical activity sessions from 4.9to 5.2 times per week and increased consumption of fruits and vegetablesfrom 3.44 to 3.78 servings per day among 338 students participating ingardening and educational workshops."FA^FoodEorAli; Network" California Nutrition Network for HealthyActive Families, California Department of Health Services;TCWE=The California Wellness Foundation; OHS-Preventative Health andHealth Services Block Grant, California Department of Health Sen/ices.
addition, the city of Hscondidoapproved the "Adopt-A-Lot" pol-icy, which allows for the interimuse ol public and private prop-erty for community benefit Thispolicy provides a special no-feedty permit and an expedited landuse approval pr"oce.ss that allowsnormal /-oning regulations and re-qiiiremenLs (e.g., those concern-ing parking) to be waived. Thepolicy contributes to city beautitl-cation, decreases code violations.and increases space Ibr commu-nity gardens.While each city experienced avai"i(,'ly of results, there wert' sev-eral common lessons learned aboutthe importance of the following:• ongoing ti"aining. mentoring,and leadership development forgardeners and
• building on successfulcommunity-based programsthrough partnei^ships:• public awarene.ss of the ben-efits of communiiy gardens; and• experiential work (e.g., classesin gardening, exercise, or cook-
which often led to municipalcodes and administrative policies.
LOOKING AHEADEducating Stakeholders
Informing decisionmakersabout the benefits of eommunitygardens ean be time-ititensive.Changes in leadershif) can slowmomentum. Communicating thebenefits beyontf the traditionalleadership to the community atlarge can mitigate those chal-lenges, heip build a broad-basedconstituency, and provide long-tenn, consistent support of com-riiiinity gai"dening as a norm.Publications, electronic networks,and convenings can supportlearning across communities.
VVhik; the benefits of commu-nity gardens are many, land andhousing shortages may competefor gaixlening space. Becausecommunity gaixlens are flexiblein their design (e.g., containerson patios and rooftops as optionsto gi'ound planting), they can beincorporated har-moniously intonew sti^uclures or into existing fa-cilities (e.g.. school campuses,parks, community centers).
The deai'th of data on the pos-itive impacts of community gar-dens hinders the ability to makea convincing ai"gument when re-sources (e.g., funding, land,water) aie at stake. Anecdotalevidence abounds, but importantoutcomes such as the physicalbeneiits of gardening and com-
Septembet 2003. Vol 93. No. 9 I American Journal ot Public Health
et al. \
Peer Reviewed | Field Action Report | 1437