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Open AccessArticle

Trust, Connection and Equity: Can Understanding Context Help to Establish Successful Campus Community Gardens?

1
Centre for Rural Health, College of Health and Medicine, University of Tasmania, Hobart 7000, Australia
2
School of Natural Sciences, University of Tasmania, Hobart 7000, Australia
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Menzies Institute for Medical Research, University of Tasmania, Hobart 7000, Australia
4
School of Medicine, College of Health and Medicine, University of Tasmania, Hobart 7000, Australia
5
School of Geography, Planning and Spatial Sciences, University of Tasmania, Hobart 7000, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(20), 7476; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17207476
Received: 3 September 2020 / Revised: 29 September 2020 / Accepted: 30 September 2020 / Published: 14 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Investigating Urban Gardening as a Public Health Strategy)
Campus community gardens (CCGs) can potentially improve student health and wellbeing, mitigate social and ecological problems, and nurture university-community relationships. However, CCGs are located in complex socio-political and ecological settings and many community gardens struggle or fail. However, few studies have assessed the socio-political/ecological context of a garden setting prior to its development to understand the potential barriers and enablers of success. Our study assessed the socio-spatial context of a proposed CCG at a student university accommodation site. We engaged diverse university and community stakeholders through interviews, focus groups and a survey to explore their perceptions of the space generally and the proposed garden specifically. Visual observations and public life surveying were used to determine patterns of behavior. Results confirmed known problems associated with an underutilized site that provides little opportunity for lingering or contact with nature; and unknown barriers, including socially disconnected stakeholders and community distrust of the university. The research also uncovered positive enablers, such as stakeholder appreciation of the social, wellbeing and ecological benefits that a CCG could deliver. Our findings suggest that an in-depth exploration of a proposed garden context can be an important enabler of its success. View Full-Text
Keywords: campus community garden; health; socio-spatial connection; trust; sustainability; university students; wellbeing campus community garden; health; socio-spatial connection; trust; sustainability; university students; wellbeing
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Marsh, P.; Mallick, S.; Flies, E.; Jones, P.; Pearson, S.; Koolhof, I.; Byrne, J.; Kendal, D. Trust, Connection and Equity: Can Understanding Context Help to Establish Successful Campus Community Gardens? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 7476.

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