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Case #693

Title:
Urban Gardens Are Sprouting Worldwide

Summary:

Urban area gardens are becoming popular all over the world, for a variety of reasons. In schools, gardens help teach math, science and language while encouraging alternatives to junk food and lack of exercise. Gardening is taking root as one of the newest forms of mental-health treatments, with "horticultural therapy" organizations being established in countries from the United Kingdom to Japan. Gardens can be venues for community building and empowerment, either by providing a communal space, cultural activities, or - sometimes - by providing a common cause when the garden itself is threatened. By increasing the number and efficiency of gardens and boosting purchases from local farms, towns are reducing dependence on imports from unstable areas, on chemical-intensive farms, and on petroleum- driven transportation. The contribution of gardens to food security is not just a boon to the developing world. In the United States, while saving individual families hundreds of dollars in food costs per year, gardens also supply food to local poverty assistance programs. Finally, gardens aren't simply added to the landscape like inert decorative objects; they participate dynamically in the region's life processes.

Comments:

WHAT WORKS, AND IMPORTANT POINTS: (1) "It (the school garden) has brought a new vitality to both the school and its neighborhood - restoring a piece of the local environment, fostering a sense of community, and providing the school with fresh vegetables and a fresh approach to education." (2) "Human contact with nature - even with just a few trees - correlates with better mood, recovery from stress, and improved concentration." (3) "Even converting just 1 percent of existing ornamental lawns into organic gardens would reduce the toxic pesticide exposure to families and wildlife by up to 3.4 million kilograms per year." (4) Local gardens have an advantage because "Along with reducing nutritional value and creating vast amounts of packaging waste, shipping food over long distances - by ship, truck, or plane - leads to increased production of carbon dioxide emissions." (5) "By increasing the number and efficiency of gardens and boosting purchases from local farms, (the) town is reducing its dependence on imports from unstable areas, on chemical-intensive farms, and on petroleum- driven transportation." (6) Even given the many advantages of local gardens, the main reason for their existence is to augment local food supplies. It does this efficiently รข?? see full Text below for examples.
Location: global
Action: Building
Setting: Urban
Extent of Action: Local
Issues: Agriculture
Year(s):
Outcome successful
Source: World-watch, Fan/Feb 2003, p. 28

Contacts:

www.worldwatch.org.
Prepared By: sl, 11/05
Rating: 1
 
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