The Impact of New Haven Land Trust Community Gardens on Members

Document Type

Thesis

Summary Description

The study examined the impact of New Haven Land Trust community gardens on members, focusing on dietary intake, access to fresh produce, and community relationships. Results indicated that gardeners reported increased consumption and access to fresh produce, enhanced community ties, and high satisfaction with the garden program. However, the study suggested the need for further research to confirm these findings and improve community garden methods, highlighting their potential for health promotion and community well-being in New Haven, CT.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to examine the impact community gardens, under the care of New Haven Land Trust, has on its members. New Haven Land Trust (2015), a nonprofit organization established in 1982, is dedicated to the preservation and cultivation of land in order to create healthier communities for their residents. With fifty community gardens under their supervision, New Haven Land Trust is working hard to improve the health and wellbeing of their adult gardeners. New Haven Land Trust recognizes the importance of community gardens and their ability to increase the dietary intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, to improve access to fresh produce, and to strengthen community ties, however they lack the data required to support their beliefs. For this purpose, a self-report survey was created and distributed at various New Haven Land Trust garden plots that asked adult gardeners how their participation in their local community garden program impacted their lives. The main findings from this study found that individuals increased their consumption of, and access to, fresh produce, developed new relationships, and reported being very satisfied with their overall community gardening program. In addition, this study on community gardens helped us to improve our understanding of the interaction between environment and community health, as well as effective community garden methods that can be used for health promotion. Despite our findings, further research regarding New Haven community gardens and their impact on gardener’s health and well-being is recommended.

Supporting Teacher/Faculty Member

Dr. Peggy Gallup

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