Community Gardening: A Parsimonious Path to Individual, Community, and Environmental Resilience

Heather A. Okvat, Alex J. Zautra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

257 Scopus citations


The goal of this paper is to introduce community gardening as a promising method of furthering well-being and resilience on multiple levels: individual, social group, and natural environment. We examine empirical evidence for the benefits of gardening, and we advocate the development and testing of social ecological models of community resilience through examination of the impact of community gardens, especially in urban areas. The definition of community is extended beyond human social ties to include connections with other species and the earth itself, what Berry (1988) has called an Earth community. We discuss the potential contribution of an extensive network of community gardens to easing the global climate change crisis and address the role of community psychologists in community gardening research and policy-oriented action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)374-387
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican journal of community psychology
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • Climate change
  • Community gardening
  • Resilience
  • Urban environments
  • Well being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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