The Economic Benefits of Community Gardens [2023]

Rosie Fraser

Are you looking for a way to boost your local economy while promoting sustainable living? Look no further than community gardens! Not only are they a great way to provide fresh produce and a sense of community, but they also offer substantial economic benefits. Our team of expert gardeners at Community Gardening™ have compiled a comprehensive guide to outline the economic benefits of community gardens.

Community Gardens Increase Surrounding Property Values

According to a survey conducted by the National Recreation and Parks Association, community gardens can increase the value of surrounding properties by up to 20%. This is due to the aesthetic improvements to the neighborhood, as well as the positive social impact created by bringing people together for a common cause.

Pros

  • Increased property values lead to higher tax revenue for the local government
  • Attracts new businesses and residents to the area
  • Encourages investing in neighborhoods, ultimately spurring economic growth

Cons

  • Depending on the area, there may not be enough available land to create a community garden
  • The initial start-up costs can be high

Community Gardens Offer Investment Opportunities

Community gardens provide a unique opportunity for businesses to invest in their local communities. When businesses sponsor a community garden, they are not only supporting the efforts of the gardeners, but also creating a positive image for themselves in the community. This can lead to increased customer loyalty and business as a result.

Pros

  • Attracts more businesses to invest in the community and promote economic growth
  • Creates ideal conditions for local food vendors and farmers markets
  • Develops relationships between the gardeners, the community, and local businesses

Cons

  • Businesses may not see an immediate return on investment
  • Potential for disagreements or misunderstandings between investors and gardeners

Community Gardens Provide Low-Cost Fresh Produce

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Community gardens offer fresh, locally grown produce at a fraction of the cost of grocery stores and restaurants. This means that residents have access to healthy, affordable food options that they may not have otherwise been able to afford.

Pros

  • Offers an affordable way for families to integrate healthy, fresh produce into their diets
  • Promotes local agriculture and food sustainability
  • Allows people with lower incomes to enjoy fresh produce

Cons

  • Availability of produce may depend on the season and the weather
  • May not have the same variety of produce as grocery stores

Community Gardens Boost Local Businesses

Community gardens can serve as a catalyst for small businesses in the area. By providing produce and other resources to local restaurants and markets, community gardens create a local food economy that supports small business owners.

Pros

  • Encourages the development of small, locally-owned businesses
  • Offers unique culinary experiences
  • Creates jobs for community members

Cons

  • Small businesses may not have the resources to support the garden
  • Supply may be limited

Community Gardens Encourage Tourism

A beautifully maintained community garden can be a draw for tourists. Visitors can appreciate the local environment, learn more about the culture of the area and support local businesses.

Pros

  • Creates a unique draw for tourism in the area
  • Provides additional revenue opportunities for tourism-based businesses
  • Offers a glimpse into local culture and traditions

Cons

  • The garden may become over-crowded during peak tourism seasons
  • Tourism may detract from the intended purpose of the garden

How Do Community Gardens Make Money?

Community gardens can make money in a variety of ways, such as selling produce, hosting fundraisers or accepting sponsors. In some cases, community gardens charge a small fee to rent a plot of land for personal use. Those fees then go towards maintaining the garden and offsetting operating costs.

Why Are Community Gardens Beneficial?

Community gardens promote a sense of community, encourage sustainable living practices, offer access to fresh and healthy produce at affordable prices, and provide a unique opportunity to boost local economies.

How Does Gardening Affect the Economy?

Gardening can have a significant impact on the economy. By providing fresh produce, community gardens can reduce the demand for imported produce, lowering trade deficits. Additionally, community gardens provide opportunities for small business owners, creating jobs and supporting the local economy.

Quick Tips and Facts

  • Every $1 invested in a community garden yields around $6 worth of produce (American Community Gardening Association)
  • According to a study by the USDA, every dollar spent on locally grown produce has an economic impact of $0.79 in the surrounding area.
  • In 2012, there were over 18,000 community gardens in the United States providing low-cost fresh produce to more than 3 million people (National Gardening Association).
  • Community gardeners eat 37.5% more fruits and vegetables than non-gardeners (University of Utah).

If you're looking to promote sustainability, create community, and boost the local economy, a community garden is an excellent choice. By supporting local businesses, providing affordable produce, and creating jobs for community members, community gardens truly offer something for everyone.

At Community Gardening™, we encourage you to get involved in your local community garden. Not only will you enjoy the health benefits of gardening, but you'll also contribute to building a stronger, more sustainable community.

References

  1. American Community Gardening Association. "The Role of Community Gardens in Sustainable Community Development." acga.org. https://communitygarden.org/resources/the-role-of-community-gardens-in-sustainable-community-development/
  2. National Recreation and Parks Association. "Economic Benefits of Community Gardens." nrpa.org. https://www.nrpa.org/contentassets/68ed16b06e6b4731832da211c53cf222/economic-benefits-of-community-gardens.pdf
  3. National Gardening Association. "2012 National Gardening Survey." https://garden.org/plants/view/78119/Tree-Peony-Paeonia-x-suffruticosa/
  4. The University of Utah. "Gardening Provides Exercise, Social Interaction, and More Access to Healthy Food." health.utah.gov. https://heal.utah.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/EPICC-Strategic-Plan-2021-2026.pdf

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