Benefits of Community Gardens

By: Lucy Bradley and Keith Baldwin, NC State University and NC A &T State University, Cooperative Extension

In addition to providing fresh fruits and vegetables, a garden can also be a tool for promoting physical and emotional health, connecting with nature, teaching life skills, and promoting financial security.


Community gardens provide a place to grow healthy, nutritious food resulting in both gardeners and their families eating a wider variety, larger quantity (Alaimo, Packnett, Miles, and Kruger, 2008), and higher quality of fresh fruits and vegetables. In addition, gardeners increase their physical activity and overall health. (Wakefield, Yeudall, Reynolds and Skinner, 2007)


For many urban dwellers surrounded by high-rise buildings and concrete, a community garden may provide their only contact with plants, birds, butterflies, and nature. Lessons learned in the community garden about water conservation, water quality preservation, environmental stewardship, and sustainable land use may be taken back to homes, businesses, and schools and implemented, improving environmental health.

 Life Skills:

In addition to a wealth of basic horticulture information, gardeners learn important life skills such as planning, organization, and teamwork.

 (From How to Organize a Community Garden,, January 1, 2013. Reprinted with permission)

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