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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Healthy Neighborhoods

Even though this blog lives in the world of internet media there are examples of print media that are not available as internet media worth reading. Four times a year I receive The Underground News, a publication of Denver Urban Gardeners. The most recent edition, Summer 2010 , Vol.15, No.3 has a front page article by Dr. Jill Litt reporting on a research project looking at what makes a healthy neighborhood. In "Rx for Healthy Place Making Part 2" Dr. Litt points out that community gardeners have the highest rate of neighborhood attachment of any group that was surveyed. The theory of collective efficacy or a strong sense of neighborhood social organization, that I referred to in the previous post, "Institute of Community Gardening", is an important factor in healthy neighborhoods. Community Gardens are a prime example of collective efficacy in action. This research is worth reviewing. From the article: "Gardens represent a neighborhood and home environment that can be directly experienced. Gardening is an affordable activity that is accessible to all people regardless of age, income, education, ethnic and racial backgrounds and cultural heritage. Garden participation also requires active engagement and supports formal and informal social interactions with family friends and neighbors." The bottom line is community gardens can contribute to physical, psychological and social health of individuals and neighborhoods.
I would also recommend the Denver Urban Gardens website for good resources on organic gardening, weeds, composting and water conservation.

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