With the City of North Bay hosting a Waterfront Design Workshop tonight, why not discuss and delve into the benefits of more Community Gardens in our beautiful city!
With recent research, it’s become quite evident that gardening in itself has many benefits to an individual. Whether it be on someone’s own personal property, or in a community garden, gardening has been proven to:
– Provide heart health and stroke risk –
Gardening can be a very simple and therapeutic way to achieve the 2. 5 hours of moderate-intensity of activity needed each week. A Stockholm study showed that regular gardening cuts stroke and heart attack risk by up to 30% for those over 60. Raised beds can save the joints and extend possible gardening years for seniors, or for anyone wishing to garden more comfortably (Source).
– Brain Health and Alzheimer’s Risk –
One long-term study followed nearly 3000 older adults for 16 years, tracking incidence of all kinds of dementia and assessing a variety of lifestyle factors. Researchers found daily gardening to represent the single biggest risk reduction for dementia, reducing incidence by 36%. Another study estimated the risk reduction at 47%! (Source)
– Body Strength –
Exercising both the arms and legs is recommended to help prevent illnesses like coronary disease. With most everyday activities only involving the arms, gardening is a great way to incorporate the entire body while exercising (Source).
– Mental Health –
It’s fairly known that gardening is a great exercise to help promote stronger and better overall mental health in individuals. Community Gardening provides improved mental health overall. Horticulture therapy and ecotherapy has been an established practice with other therapies to help treat mild and moderate mental illness as well as/including PTSD (Source). For further reading, consider taking a look at a program run by CMHA in Grey Bruce, and their data in “Gardening for Food & Mental Health“.
Not only are Community Gardens beneficial to individuals, the Garden also promotes environmental and food literacy education, sustainability, and an overall positive feeling to a community.
– Connects People to their Community –
being involved in a Grow community garden enables people to connect with their community in a meaningful way. A way that respects difference and promotes diversity (Source).
– Brings People Together & Stimulates Social Interaction –
Community Gardens allow for an open forum for public to come together that may not normally be a part of the same group. Individuals are able to meet and connect over like-minded interests, compare ideas and perhaps develop something bigger and better than they thought.
– Economic Benefits –
Community Gardens are typically less expensive and easier to maintain rather than a public park space since individuals are responsible for their spaces. Cities can also generate funds with the sale of ‘plots’ in the garden space. Studies have also been shown to increase property values for benefiting neighborhoods (source).
– Environmental –
Community gardens help restore oxygen to the air and help reduce local air pollution. The gardens itself will also beautify an area and promote local sustainability. By
providing a “hands-on” learning opportunity to gain knowledge of the natural world, community gardens offer a natural contribution to our urban areas (source).
Whether or not you’re attending tonight’s workshop, or simply an interested party please further promote the development and use of more Community Gardens in our community! There are tons of literature available on the internet to support these beliefs. You can always contact us for further information, and all ideas are welcome!!