COMMUNITY GARDENS AND ECOLOGICAL CITIZENSHIP: THEIR POTENTIAL AND LIMITATIONS IN FOSTERING ENVIRONMENTALISM
Master of Science
Department or Program
Geography and Environmental Resources
Duram, Leslie A
Mainstream agricultural and food production methods are a major source of environmental degradation, which has not been addressed by large-scale and global initiatives. Alternatively, grassroots and local initiatives may be more effective at alleviating the causes of environmental degradation associated with food and agriculture. Specifically, community gardens are an important local greenspace that can be used to address and educate individuals about the importance of food and the environment. However, certain barriers need to be overcome and addressed before community gardens are successfully implement. The participation and interaction at community gardens may provide a pathway to long-term commitment to sustainability, pushing individuals to adopt more environmentally supportive behaviors and a deeper commitment to environmentalism. Furthermore, community gardens can be used to improve current mainstream environmental educational practices that are often counterproductive. This paper also discusses potential future directions for research on community gardens.