Community Gardening: A Resilient Communities Project–GreenStep Cities Guide

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Community Gardening: A Resilient Communities Project–GreenStep Cities Guide

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Resilient Communities Project (RCP), University of Minnesota.




Community gardening can be a partial solution to food access issues. Access to fresh produce grown in a community garden has the potential to improve nutrition and decrease obesity-related health problems. In addition to the physical health benefits, community gardens provide a communal gathering space which can help to strengthen ties among residents. Strong community ties are important for fostering healthy, resilient communities. This guide is organized into three phases of planning for a community garden: (1) Planning for a community garden, (2) Managing a community garden, and (3) Food distribution and consumption. This resource was developed from two reports completed by graduate and undergraduate students through partnerships between the Resilient Communities Project (RCP) at the University of Minnesota and the Cities of North St. Paul and Rosemount, Minnesota, during the 2013–2014 and 2014–2015 academic years, respectively. Although the original reports were developed for a specific community, students’ findings and recommendations have been synthesized and generalized, and additional research has been conducted where necessary, to produce a resource that is relevant to communities throughout Minnesota. The original student reports can be found at and


Report compiled and edited by Hannah Gary, a graduate research assistant with the Resilient Communities Project.

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This project was supported by the Resilient Communities Project (RCP), a program at the University of Minnesota whose mission is to connect communities in Minnesota with U of MN faculty and students to advance local sustainability and resilience through collaborative, course-based projects. RCP is a program of the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA). More information at Funding for the report was provided by GreenStep Cities, a program of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, through a grant from the McKnight Foundation. More information at

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Gary, Hannah (editor). (2016). Community Gardening: A Resilient Communities Project–GreenStep Cities Guide. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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