A comprehensive model for measuring the impact of community gardening on the physical, nutritional, and sociological structures of at-risk, urban communities is desperately needed to ensure the long-term sustainability of such programs.
This presentation will focus on the stepwise formation and implementation of an evaluation tool which was developed to fill this urgent need. The intent of the research approach is to scientifically validate the connection between community gardening and community well-being. In partnership with noted horticultural researchers, urban gardeners, dietitians, and sociologists, we have developed a statistical survey which integrates scientifically proven evaluative methods with new measurement techniques.
Preliminary findings from the first year of survey administration will be shared in order to stimulate further discussion and refinement of this particular model, and to encourage the development and implementation of scientifically-based, evaluative tools for other urban gardening and community development programs.