Marin County Community Garden Needs Assessment
Over the past year UCCE staff and garden stakeholders from the county have been working diligently to get to the heart of what’s happening in Marin’s community gardens. Case studies from around the country have documented the benefits of community gardens on a number of levels, such as contributing to community health, nutrition education, and neighborhood aesthetics, and now we have detailed data for Marin that verifies these claims. For example, did you know that 80% of respondents active in community gardens reported eating more fruits and vegetables, and getting more exercise? Roughly two-thirds of the youth surveyed reported higher environmental literacy as a result of classroom education in the garden. Furthermore, there are five varieties of community gardens in Marin County totaling 86 gardens. Of that total there are 220 residents on waiting lists for six neighborhood gardens.
"This report shines brightly on Marin's community gardens, highlighting their social, health, and environmental benefits. It also identifies what is needed to expand the community garden experience to others in the County."
-Steve Kinsey, Marin County Supervisor
“The report identifies critical needs in our community around garden access, education, and development, while highlighting invaluable feedback about how Marin’s youth are benefiting from their interaction in school gardens. This document will be very helpful in guiding future planning for programs related to community gardens across the county and its school districts.”
-Mary Jane Burke, Marin County Superintendent of Schools
In the report you will find recommended solutions to help improve current and future community gardens for Marin's residents. Many solutions were expressed during interviews with gardeners, local government officials, and community organization members, thus planting the seeds for the growth of a collective effort to meet garden needs and build community health.