The Impact of Community Gardens

Community Garden

Photo by Flatbush Gardener (via Flickr)

Aside from turning ugly empty lots into spaces full of life, community gardens have been credited with having a positive impact on their surrounding neighborhood. As I set out to find this data, I was meet with different points of view.

A study conducted by a research team from Texas State and Texas A&M Universities set out to find what kind of impact community gardens have on crime rates. The researchers collected and mapped crime rate data around the gardens and they also interviewed citizens. After gathering data, a comparison was made between community garden areas and areas randonmly selected in city areas that where within a 1-mile radius.

The study, which was published in HortTechnology, shows that there were no crime number differences between the areas with community gardens and the surrounding areas.

On the other hand, a study from New York University, which focused on the impact community gardens have on residential properties in the neighborhood, found that there is a positive effect on sale prices of residential properties within a 1000 foot radius of a community garden.

The study, which was conducted in 636 New York City community gardens, can be found on the  American Community Gardening Association website.  The study, which was published in 2006 , is titled: The Effect of Community Gardens on Neighboring Property Values. The data was compared to properties outside the 1000 foot circle that where in the same neighborhood.

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