Growing an urban oasis: A qualitative study of the perceived benefits of community gardening in baltimore, maryland

Melissa N. Poulsen, Kristyna R S Hulland, Carolyn A. Gulas, Hieu Pham, Sarah L. Dalglish, Rebecca K. Wilkinson, Peter John Winch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Community gardening is lauded as an urban planning tool to enhance local food systems while improving degraded urban environments. To understand how best to expand community gardening participation, this study explores the perceived benefits of community gardening in Baltimore, Maryland. In-depth interviews and focused group interviews with community gardeners revealed that gardens provide benefits at multiple levels, creating an "urban oasis" that provides refuge from urban decay while revitalizing city neighborhoods. At the individual level, gardeners underscored psychological benefits, including pride and a connection with nature. At the neighborhood level, gardeners developed trusting relationships with their neighbors and shared learning experiences. At the community level, gardeners perceived that gardens reclaim city space by cleaning up degraded lots, creating gathering places, and improving the food environment. The variety of perceived benefits that gardens provide to individuals and their communities should be promoted as a tool for developing healthy urban environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-82
Number of pages14
JournalCulture, Agriculture, Food and Environment
Volume36
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

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Gardening
gardeners
gardening
Baltimore
oases
gardens
community
interviews
local food systems
urban planning
cleaning
food
City Planning
Interviews
learning
deterioration
Food
interview
Learning
participation

Keywords

  • Community gardens
  • Food access
  • Grounded theory
  • Qualitative methods
  • Urban agriculture
  • Urban revitalization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Anthropology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Food Science

Cite this

Growing an urban oasis : A qualitative study of the perceived benefits of community gardening in baltimore, maryland. / Poulsen, Melissa N.; Hulland, Kristyna R S; Gulas, Carolyn A.; Pham, Hieu; Dalglish, Sarah L.; Wilkinson, Rebecca K.; Winch, Peter John.

In: Culture, Agriculture, Food and Environment, Vol. 36, No. 2, 01.12.2014, p. 69-82.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Poulsen, Melissa N. ; Hulland, Kristyna R S ; Gulas, Carolyn A. ; Pham, Hieu ; Dalglish, Sarah L. ; Wilkinson, Rebecca K. ; Winch, Peter John. / Growing an urban oasis : A qualitative study of the perceived benefits of community gardening in baltimore, maryland. In: Culture, Agriculture, Food and Environment. 2014 ; Vol. 36, No. 2. pp. 69-82.
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