Community gardens encourage community participation and education. One of the ideas behind these gardening projects is that by collaborating with members of your community you might not otherwise meet, communities will become safer, more friendly environments. Of course, these gardens also provide opportunities to educate the public about agriculture and the environment.
According to GreenThumb, a community gardening program within the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, community gardens serve 20,000 city residents in the city. The gardens help people not only develop their gardening skills and provide them with locally-grown, often organic produce, but also help them to grow their communities and make connections with their neighbors. The gardens also transform eyesores around the city into beautiful green spaces and are open to the public for a minimum of 10 hours per week, providing urbanites with quality outdoor time that may be hard to come by in city life.
There are many urgan gardening programs in New York City of which Green Thumb (GT) is one of the nation’s largest, and exists throughout New York City in all five boroughs. Aside from the civic participation, they revitalize the areas and preserve open spaces. Most importantly, it fosters an understanding of where food comes from and an ability to take part in being responsible for your own food in a way that is not usually available in urban cities.
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