Thursday, February 25th, 2016 - NewsMaker
"While very local in scale, common motivations for involvement in community gardening include: the desire to consume fresh produce, reduce food costs, pursue social networking, and develop improved mental and physical health," Dr Nursey-Bray says.

"Members of community gardens ranged in age, although older people and young children were more prevalent. There were many instances where community gardens were used for therapeutic purposes, such as for people recovering from illnesses or those sick with cancer, or to help mentally handicapped people."

Interviews with people who work in community gardens revealed that the experience rewarded them with a strong sense of community and a happy social life.

"Environmental issues also motivated people’s involvement in community gardening, with a desire to grow fresh food and vegetables, and an aspiration to be part of social enterprise that was committed to sustainability, addressing food security and adapting to climate change," Dr Nursey-Bray says.

"Our study found that community gardens have the potential to build local adaptive responses to climate change and food security. They can also act as a mechanism for strengthening community cohesion by building ongoing inter-generational valuing of and attachment to the environment.

"We also found that almost every garden has a waiting list, some for up to two years, which means there is greater demand for such gardens in our community than was previously thought."

The results of this study have been published in the South Australian Geographical Journal.

Media Contact:

Dr Melissa Nursey-Bray
Head, Department of Geography, Environment and Population
The University of Adelaide
Mobile: +61 (0)437 738 635
[email protected]

David Ellis
Media and Communications Officer
The University of Adelaide
Phone: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762
[email protected]

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