The value of community gardens : a participatory evaluation of Brockwell Park community greenhouses
This is the story of a garden in Brockwell Park in South London. Brockwell Park Community Greenhouses (BPCG) is not an ordinary garden. It is tucked away in a corner of the park, behind the tennis courts and not far from the playground. It’s a quite surprising thing to find in an otherwise ordinary city park. When you enter, a busy-looking volunteer greets you. You immediately notice a difference in the noise around you: it is quieter than outside the garden walls, and the sounds you do hear are less of people and more of birds. As you wander around the garden, you discover quiet corners, lush green spaces, helpful signs and plants you’ve never seen growing around London before. You learn that this is a community garden and that it aims to be an educational and social resource for the community as well as a beautiful green space in a highly urbanised environment. You are amazed to discover that the project is run primarily by volunteers, and that everyone is welcome to participate as they are interested and able. You realise that you have stumbled upon a very special place. The story of the garden is told here using the parts of a plant, showing how these different parts work together to generate a growing, thriving whole. It is the result of a research project conducted as part of a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies. The project aimed to address the question of what people value about community gardens. It involved a series of interviews with volunteers at Brockwell Park Community Greenhouses, exploring their experiences with the garden using an Appreciative Inquiry approach. Appreciative Inquiry is a participatory process of discovering what is working well in an organisation or a project, and using this inquiry to envision a better future and create positive change (Cooperider, Whitney & Stavros, 2008). Details of the research process and the interview questions, as well as a review of current literature on community gardens, can be found in the Appendices. This research project would not have been possible without the support and encouragement of Beth Barber, Project Development Worker during the time of the research, and Peta White, supervisor of the research. The author is incredibly grateful to the BPCG volunteers for taking the time to share their experiences, their memories and their hopes for the future of their garden. This is really their story.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Serving ourselves: How the discourse on community engagement privileges the university over the community Bortolin, Kathleen (Michigan Publishing, 2011)Using methods of discourse analysis, I analyzed examples of the word “community” from 25 of the most recent articles in the Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning. This analysis uncovered a variety of ways in which ...
Sense of community and neighbourliness in Vancouver suburban communities: The Picket Fence Project Enns, Cherie; Wilson, Jennifer (Canadian Institute of Planners, 1999)With every new development we hear the word "community," as if the attempt to redesign physical form automatically builds or facilitates a sense of community. It is the opinion of the authors, however, that "sense ...
Phased community benefits agreements - a pathway to mutually beneficial community developments: A guiding framework for implementation in Belize Sanchez, Eric Jahmal (Electronic version published by Vancouver Island University, 2018-04)Local governments have pursued community benefit within the rezoning process using the policy tools of Community Benefits Agreements and Community Amenity Contributions. While there have been many successful negotiations ...