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Urban Agriculture: Theory and Practice of Community Gardening
 

Urban Agriculture: Theory and Practice of Community Gardening

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Urban Agriculture: Theory and Practice of Community Gardening

Urban Agriculture: Theory and Practice of Community Gardening

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    Urban Agriculture: Theory and Practice of Community Gardening Urban Agriculture: Theory and Practice of Community Gardening Document Transcript

    • Urban Agriculture: Community Gardening Practices By Ryan Sloan A Major Paper Submitted to the faculty of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Natural Resources Major: Natural Resources Committee Dr. David L. Trauger, Chair; Dr. David P. Robertson, Dr. Alan D. Thornhill November 7, 2009 Falls Church, VAKey Words: community gardens, urban Agriculture, sustainability, conservation 1
    • Table of ContentsTable of Contents ............................................................................................................................ 2 Abstract ........................................................................................................................................... 5 URBAN AGRICULTURE ........................................................................................................... 6 Introduction ..................................................................................................................................... 6 Defining Urban Agriculture ............................................................................................................ 6 Historical Analysis of Urban Agriculture ....................................................................................... 8 Urban Agriculture Practices ............................................................................................................ 9 COMMUNITY GARDEN THEORY ....................................................................................... 10 Defining Community Gardens ...................................................................................................... 10 Social and Cultural Components .................................................................................................. 11  Community Pride and Involvement ...................................................................................... 11  Empowerment of the Growers .............................................................................................. 11  Improved Health, Increased Recreation, Relaxation, Creativity Opportunities ................... 12  Community Growth Opportunities ....................................................................................... 12  Decreased Crime ................................................................................................................... 13  Educational Opportunities .................................................................................................... 14 Environmental and Ecological Components ................................................................................. 14  More Green Space and Heat Sinks ....................................................................................... 14  Greenhouse Gas Emissions ................................................................................................... 14  Natural Resource Sustainability ............................................................................................ 15 Economic and Political Components ............................................................................................ 15  Individual Economics ........................................................................................................... 15  2
    • Additional Food Sources and Choices .................................................................................. 16  Employment Opportunities ................................................................................................... 16  Helping the U.S. Become Healthier and Potentially Lower Health Costs............................ 16  Local Community Food Security .......................................................................................... 17 COMMUNITY GARDEN PRACTICE .................................................................................... 18 Case Study: Nottoway Park Community Garden ......................................................................... 18 Why is Community Gardening Good for Fairfax County, Virginia ............................................. 18  Fairfax County Park System, Green Spring Gardens ........................................................... 19  Fairfax County Parks, Nottoway Park in Fairfax, Virginia .................................................. 20 Considerations for Nottoway Park’s Community Garden Plots ................................................... 21  Assessment of Nottoway Park Garden Plots, Summer-Fall 2009 ........................................ 21  Table 1. Composition of Plot Table and Percentages .......................................................... 24  Photo Series for Nottoway Park............................................................................................ 25 Encouraging the Practice in Other Areas of Fairfax County ........................................................ 25 Recommendations for Encouraging Community Gardens in Fairfax County .............................. 26  Partnering with Schools ........................................................................................................ 26  Involving Students ................................................................................................................ 27  Non-profits ............................................................................................................................ 27  Facilitated Volunteer Groups ................................................................................................ 27  National or State Grants ........................................................................................................ 28  Inventory and Analysis of Community Food Production ..................................................... 28 DISCUSSION .............................................................................................................................. 29 Challenges of Community Gardens .............................................................................................. 29 Benefits of Urban Agriculture ...................................................................................................... 32 Conclusion .................................................................................................................................... 33  3
    • Appendix A: Nottoway Park Assessment of Current Community Garden Practices .................. 35 Appendix B: Photo Series for Nottoway Park ............................................................................. 36  Set 1: Example Plots Growing Vegetables .......................................................................... 36  Set 2: Example Plot Growing Only Ornamentals ................................................................ 37  Set 3: Example Plots Growing Both Vegetables and Ornamentals ..................................... 38  Set 4: Example of Poorly Maintained Plots ......................................................................... 39  Set 5: Example of Bare or Overgrown Plots ........................................................................ 40 Appendix C: Photo of Outreach Opportunity Location ............................................................... 41 Works Cited .................................................................................................................................. 42  4
    • AbstractUrban Agriculture is a commonly implemented concept throughout the United States (US) andinternationally. Urban Agriculture varies in form and function from place to place and person toperson. From the community that needs Urban Agriculture as a source of food security to theperson who views Urban Agriculture a recreational hobby, to the idealist who works toward areduced carbon footprint; Urban Agriculture is many things to many different people.This paper is intended to provide the reader with an overview of the concept of UrbanAgriculture, and specifically discuss the utility of implementing the Urban Agriculture practiceof community gardening within Fairfax County, a major metropolitan area of Virginia. Thechallenges and benefits of the type of Urban Agriculture called community gardens are laid out.The object was to identify possible reasons for the success or failure of gardens and identifysteps that could enhance an already functioning community garden while ultimately encouragingthe practice. The main sections of this paper are: an introductory section providing thebackground on the concept of Urban Agriculture; an analysis of the practice of communitygardening; a discussion of the utility of implementing community garden practices in Vienna,Virginia; and concluding remarks for adopting the paper’s recommendations and implementationstrategies for the Nottoway Park community garden, that could be applied elsewhere. Audience: Northern Virginia residents, other public, parks or other open spaces potentially interested in Urban Agriculture techniques. Outlets and Major Paper Products: Major paper, powerpoint presentation for Major Paper Exam 5
    • URBAN AGRICULTUREIntroductionThis section presents a synthesis of over-arching themes surrounding Urban Agriculture,including: (1) an overview of the concept of Urban Agriculture; (2) an historical review ofUrban Agriculture, including where it is thought to originate; and (3) types of Urban Agriculturepractices found throughout the United States, with brief examples. The information in thissection is intended to provide a context and set the groundwork for a better understanding of thecomponents that make up Urban Agriculture. To fully understand the concept and thesubsequent Urban Agriculture practices, it is necessary to have knowledge of the terms,techniques, policies that form Urban Agriculture.Defining Urban AgricultureUrban Agriculture in itself is a difficult term to define. It means different things to differentpeople. In defining ‘Urban Agriculture’, the term can be broken down first into two parts:‘urban’ and ‘agriculture’. It is helpful to first look at how ‘urban’ is defined, as opposed to itsacronym ‘rural’. As the population increases, the ‘line’ that distinguishes urban from ruralbecomes increasing blurred. There will undoubtedly be a continued expansion of our cities,which will push the urban-boundary lines further out into lands that were historically farmland,or considered rural. Areas that were once considered rural may become ‘urbanized’ in somefashion or another, and the land previously used for farming and agriculture may becomedeveloped. In these urban sprawl situations, the idea of planning for and/or implementing theconcept of Urban Agriculture may become more prevalent. One distinction used to set UrbanAgriculture apart from other agriculture is the term Urban and peri-urban Agriculture (UPA).The term UPA is used to describe agriculture that takes place in suburban areas of cities. (25) Insome instances, it the differences between UPA and large-scale agricultural production are clear,although this may not always be the case. For example, when cities are planned with large plotsof land to serve as agricultural centers to feed a portion of its population, whether or not thispractice is considered an application of the concept of UPA is debatable. In these instances, the 6
    • definition becomes blurred. In other UPA scenarios, such as community gardens located inurban areas, the distinction is better understood. For the purposes of this paper we will refer toUPA as simply, Urban Agriculture.The second and most critical part of Urban Agriculture is the term ‘agriculture’. Throughout theworld the term agriculture conjures up images of large swaths of land used for both growingvegetables and fruits or for raising livestock. As the human population increases over time, it isnecessary for countries to dedicate land, human-power, and money to feed their people. Yet associeties progress, it is fundamental that more inventive and effective methods of producing foodbecome available. Urban Agriculture also becomes “a modern-day system for combating hungerand related food security issues, as well as an effective framework for creating and implementingcommunity development practices; demonstrated by the successful urban agricultural endeavorsfound throughout the world.” (25)So what exactly is the combination of ‘urban’ and ‘agriculture’? A defining aspect of UrbanAgriculture is that it evolves to address the conditions and needs of the implementers at thattime. A portion of the success and benefits of Urban Agriculture is contributed because theconcept and application is not static. As technology progresses, so do the efforts that allow forbetter implementation of Urban Agriculture and its practices. As humans strive to develop moresustainable environments in which to live, they also continue to stretch the boundaries of where,how, to what extent, and in which ways the Urban Agriculture concept can be applied.This paper will narrow the scope of the definition of Urban Agriculture to that which is directlyassociated with producing food for individual use on private property or in community gardenplots. It should be noted that most researchers define Urban Agriculture in broader terms thatinclude production facilities. For example Urban Agriculture was defined “as the growing,processing, and distribution of food and other products through intensive plant cultivation andanimal husbandry in and around cities.” (3) While this definition is certainly relevant to themore specific topic presented in this paper, considering Urban Agriculture at this much largerscale of operation is too broad for addressing the specific research statement in the context of thispaper. For this reason, an encompassing yet limited definition of Urban Agriculture is offered 7
    • for the purpose of this paper: Urban Agriculture: a potentially “complex system encompassing a spectrum of interests, from a traditional core of activities associated with the production, processing, marketing, distribution, and consumption, to a multiplicity of other benefits and services that are less widely acknowledged and documented [including]… recreation and leisure; economic vitality and business entrepreneurship, individual health and well-being; community health and well- being; landscape beautification; and environmental restoration and remediation.” (4)Historical Analysis of Urban AgricultureIt is beneficial to society to understand the concept and application of Urban Agriculture, it isalso important to have knowledge of the history of Urban Agriculture globally and within theUnited States. Jac Smit describes a comprehensive history of Urban Agriculture in hispresentation to the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) in 2002. He states,“The history of Urban Agriculture can be told beginning at any time and place in humanhistory.” (20) In his presentation, he referred to two well-known examples of Urban Agriculturein human history, the first being Machu Picchu in 16th century Peru and the second being Paris in19th century France.Smit notes, that the application of Urban Agriculture in the city of Machu Picchu reveals a highlevel of sophistication with regard to it use of Urban Agriculture. It is accepted that the remotecity enjoyed relative food security with advanced methods of producing agricultural products onthe steep mountainsides of its environment. In reference to the city’s self-reliance, he comments,“recent studies document rather precise irrigation, terracing, waste management, microclimatemanagement and storage systems.” (20) The Urban Agriculture techniques and practices ofMachu Picchu were successful enough that even today their crop production systems are studiedand in some cases replicated. 8
    • In the second example, evidence is presented that shows the influence Parisian UrbanAgriculture has had throughout the world. Post-industrial revolution Paris “generated explosivegrowth in the 19th century, [as] the wetlands community or Marais reinvented agriculture to feedthe city.” (20) There is evidence of Parisian methods being used by Vietnamese immigrantsfleeing the war in their home country to West Africa, where the Vietnamese practices wereconsidered improvements to the Urban Agriculture model framed by colonization. The Parisianinfluence is apparent when agricultural practices in places like California, Havana and Tanzaniaare referred to as French biointensive agriculture.According to Smit, in the United States, planned communities that have included or addressedthe concept of Urban Agriculture go back to the 17th and 18th centuries. To some extent,Americans have always been in favor of implementing some form of Urban Agriculturetechniques and practices, although these have been implemented widely with little regulation.Throughout American history, gardens used to produce food for the family have been prevalentsources of food and recreation opportunities (ie. gardening). In fact, there was a time inAmerican history when it was considered patriotic to grow your own food. (24) For example,during the wars years of World War II, the government asked many things of its citizens. Thegovernment asked people to recycle materials, reduce waste, purchase bonds and plant what wasknown as “Gardens for Victory” in a combined effort to allow more supplies to be sent to ourtroops. Government and corporations promoted the use of victory gardens in all shapes and sizes.Nearly 20 million Americans planted Victory Gardens, which produced up to 40 percent of allthe food that was consumed. (24) It was not until America’s dependence on automobiles and theadvent of the grocery store was there a marked changed in how Americans obtained their food,including the ceasing of getting food from the backyard or barnyard.Urban Agriculture PracticesApplication of the concept of Urban Agriculture depends on many factors, such as the time,place, as well as the individual or collective need. The types of individuals and needs for UrbanAgriculture may range from individual hobbyists to small community food production andefforts.There are many Urban Agriculture practices for food production, and each seems to have its own 9
    • unique utility and benefits depending on circumstance. According to some literature, includingthe city of Vancouver’s Southeast False Creek Urban Agriculture Strategy, urban agricultureencompasses a broad diversity of agricultural practices in urban environments that includeCommunity Gardens, School Gardens, Backyard and other such Private Gardens, Public (State-or Federally-managed) Land with Edible Landscaping, Commercial Greenhouses and some ofthe more innovative techniques are Rooftop Gardens, Micro Livestock Operations, includingbees and insects, Aquaculture Operations and Greenhouses and/or Facilities Co-located withinExisting Buildings. The theories that this paper will focus on are the possible outcomes of theimplementation of a community garden. COMMUNITY GARDEN THEORYDefining Community GardensWhat are community gardens? The quick answer to this question may seem obvious.Community gardens are a place where people can go to grow different plants, such as vegetables,herbs, and flowers. While that statement is true, community gardens are much more. They are aplace where not only plants grow, but also a place where people and communities can growtogether.The definition of ‘community gardens’ should not be one that restricts the endless possibilities ofutility. As stated earlier, community gardens can be many things and can have many differentmeanings for many different people. While some people may be better at gardening than others,in a community garden all the people can have something they can add. Likewise, the locationfor a community garden also has almost endless possibilities. They can be found in abandonedlots, old parking lots, parks, community centers, schools, and even shared rooftops.The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service definedcommunity gardens as “any shared space where people come together to grow vegetables,flowers, or plants.” (22) This paper will utilize that definition for the purpose of the furtherdiscussion within this paper. 10
    • Social and Cultural ComponentsCommunity Pride and InvolvementAs a commuter county, where many of the residents commute to jobs located in the District ofColumbia (DC), Fairfax could benefit from the potential community cohesiveness and pride thatcan result from community gardening practices. Although there are many ways in which acommunity can be brought together, implementing community gardens can be one way to “offera focal point for neighborhood organizing, and can lead to community-based efforts to deal withother social concerns.” (16) Community gardens give communities an actual sense ofcommunity involvement that may otherwise never be possible. They allow people to worktogether with their neighbors to achieve a common goal. In addition, they help facilitate andprovide community members opportunities to talk and share ideas.Empowerment of the GrowersCommunity gardens can serve as a source of empowerment for many different individuals. In alltypes of neighborhoods, there are people who may feel that they cannot accomplish or do thingsindependently or for themselves. These people may also rely entirely on another person orgovernment program for functions of basic livings needs, such as sustenance. It may be possiblefor people with low self-esteem or little to no social capital to be assisted by community gardensbecause these places may provide an outlet for achieving personal goals. Neighborhoods thatlack social connections or networks may also see no way of getting out of dangerous situationswith regards to blight and crime.If people in these areas were able to use abandoned land to create community gardens, somelevel of social capital may be attained. People in these areas may develop a better sense of selfworth through growing vegetables, herb or flowers in a community garden. A communitygarden may allow people who have not felt that they have many personal successes or have nothad positive experiences in their lives to see that they are capable of being productive and thatthey have something to offer and gain from society. 11
    • Through community gardens, people may also have the opportunity to increase their access andability to communicate with their other neighbors. This communication is vital to strengtheningrelationships that could serve to help an impoverished area gain a better self-identity. The newneighborhood connections could also be a source of awareness, education, and knowledge. Allof which may help a community or an individual become more self-sustaining and independent.This form of self-empowerment could lead to better overall citizenry in areas that are lacking.Improved Health, Increased Recreation, Relaxation, Creativity OpportunitiesGardening could allow people to express themselves in how and what they decide to plant withintheir plot. Since there is neither a right way, nor a wrong way to go about gardening, any methodrespectful of others may be acceptable. Gardening in a sense then could be an activity thatactually encourages creativity, individuality, and different ways to approach things.Some people in a community that have never had the opportunity to express a creative self couldbe given the opportunity through individual decision making that comes with growing ones owngarden. The opportunity for stress relief is possible too. Gardening can give people an outlet totake their minds off of the stresses of everyday life. Seeing the vegetables that they grow as anoutcome of their labor would be a very rewarding accomplishment for people who may feel thatthey are not capable of accomplishing anything in life.There also may be obvious reasons why community gardens can be beneficial to the overallhealth of an individual i.e. getting exercise, but there are many more than just that. For example,community gardening can become one of the reasons individuals in a community get up off ofthe couch and go outdoors. The potential benefits stemming from this activity alone could behuge. Getting out of the house and focusing energy on something creative like gardening couldbe a potential outlet for stress as well. The health benefits including recreation and relaxationopportunities surrounding gardening can apply to anyone.Community Growth OpportunitiesCommunity growth potential exists through community gardening in a couple of areas.Community gardens can be strategically situated in communities as a central location or better 12
    • yet, a location that utilizes abandoned lots. Abandoned lots come with their own set ofenvironmental risks, but the ability to transform them into something pleasant to the eye can beuseful in growing a community. Through the community garden, neighbors can work togethertowards a common goal and also identify other ways they could work together to enhance andgrow their community.Networks may be established that could lead to neighborhood groups that help to clean up low-income areas or lower the crime rates in the area. A cleaner, greener and safer community withmore self-empowered people can always be useful in attracting new residents or business to acommunity. Attracting new potential residents and businesses to an area will cause increasedcommunity growth because the community becomes a more desirable place to live and/or work.Decreased CrimeSafety is important to individuals and members of a community alike, although safety may notactually be a major issue for most areas in Fairfax County. Many sources in literature aboutcommunity gardens provide antidotal evidence that there is a relationship between communitygardens and crime rates and community safety. The article, Cultivating Community Gardens:The Role of Local Government in Creating Healthy, Livable Neighborhoods, for instance, foundthat community gardens increase safety in communities (16). There is at minimum theperception that community gardens may increase safety within the community. This antidotalbenefit, however, has not yet been shown to be peer-reviewed evidence through specific studiesto be necessarily true. For example, although researchers Gorham et al recognized there was aperceived reduced risk from crime felt by members of communities with community gardens,their study actually “indicated that the presence of a community garden was not a predictor of alower crime rate…[and There] were no crime number differences between the communitygarden areas and the randomly selected areas.” (10) This particular study did conclude bystating that interviews with members of the community did however reveal a positivereceptiveness to community gardens. Residents of that community also reported a sense of“neighborhood revitalization, perceived immunity from crime, and neighbors emulatinggardening practices they saw at the community gardens.” (10) 13
    • Educational OpportunitiesCommunity gardens can be utilized as a teaching tool for children and adults, so they can betterunderstand where food comes from and even how to grow it on their own. They can be aneducation and outreach tool for teaching children and adults the concept of natural resourcesustainability and how communities and individuals can be more self-sustainable in their actionsand practices. The opportunity for children to see that they are capable of contributing to a largergoal, such as growing a vegetable for a classroom project, may also be a chance for a child whomay have low self-esteem to be boosted. Education programs can be developed or evolved ascommunity gardens are created, and each program may be tailored to meet the needs and type ofaudience.Environmental and Ecological ComponentsMore Green Space and Heat SinksCommunity gardens can add natural beauty to an area by increasing the amount of green space.They can also benefit the environment by providing heat sinks for cities with high volumes ofpaved areas. High volumes of paved areas are particularly present in urban areas and majormetropolises, including the metropolitan District of Columbia area. The theory exists whichsuggests the more paved areas that a city has, the hotter the area is. These areas of with inflatedtemperatures could have negative effects on a local or global environment. If some of theunused or abandoned land could be turned into useful community gardens, the potential existsfor heat sinks to be created. Rooftops that could withstand a rooftop garden could be utilized aswell. The more green spaces that are located throughout the city, the greater the effect can be inoffsetting any temperature increases due to high volumes of paved areas.Greenhouse Gas EmissionsCommunity gardens can reduce the need for out-of-town produce to be shipped in. Producinglocal food resources for sale or distribution locally could create less of a carbon footprint for thecommunity overall because food has less travel distance from the farm or place of production tothe dinner plate. The community’s need to purchase foods, which have been shipped from 14
    • numerous areas throughout the United States or the globe, could be lessened. This could alsoreduce the community’s greenhouse gas emissions because of the transportation modes anddistances will be different for food grown locally in community gardens. Although the assertionthat by creating one community garden in a given area, there will be a resulting noticeablereduction in the total amount of greenhouse gas is debatable, it would be difficult to argueagainst the statement that avoiding even one trip to the grocery will reduce at least somegreenhouse gas emissions.Natural Resource SustainabilityOne of the most important to points in this paper is that it is through community gardening thatpeople can learn the value of sustainability. Individuals in the community can learn throughcommunity gardening practices that if they can do something as simple as growing vegetables,they can also do much more in an effort to becoming more self-sustainable. Although it wasmentioned previously, it is important to reiterate the importance of the general understanding thata need to be more self-sustaining can be met through community gardening. If people learn to beless reliant on grocery stores and fast food restaurants for their food, then they can take thatimportant first step into being more self-sustaining.Being more dependent on one’s self and more responsible for our own individual actions couldhave an overall effect on our ability to reduce our dependency on a number of outside resources.Based on personal experiences, it doesn’t take a monumental life-changing event to dramaticallyshift the way daily routines can be altered for the better. Growing food for use with family,friends, and individual use can have the potential to change how decisions about other needs aremet and utilized.Economic and Political ComponentsIndividual EconomicsIn theory the practice of community gardening could have the potential to reduce the overallamount of income that a person puts towards the amount of food they buy annually, if onlymarginally. If individuals and families in a community are able to save a little money on overall 15
    • food costs, than that money has the potential to be out to something else that is useful. Moneysaved through utilizing food grown at community gardens, for example, may instead be appliedto expenses in addressing other basic human needs or even may be invested back into thecommunity.Additional Food Sources and ChoicesCommunity Gardens could not only reduce the amount of money that is spent on different foods,but community gardening also has the potential to provide fresh vegetables and herbs to low-income areas that may not have otherwise had that or any other option. A community gardencould also aid in making sure that adults and children in impoverished areas do not go to bedhungry. The less hungry that people are, the better they will be able to contribute positively intheir communities and the more successful that children will be at school. Community gardenscan become a way in which access to fresh vegetables can be reasonable and equal for allmembers of a community.Employment OpportunitiesThere also exists the potential for a community to offer employment in one way or another at acommunity center or community garden. While most of the people at a community garden willmost certainly be volunteers, there is an opportunity for employment in larger urban agricultureand community garden operations. Even if the garden falls on public land operated by a localgovernment, the opportunity to employ people or a group of people to oversee the maintenanceof the gardens is reasonable. For example, the Fairfax County Park system has a Garden PlotsCoordinator who manages the Green Springs Gardens’ garden plots. Even if it is only one moreemployed person in a community at a position that may not have existed before the introductionof community garden, the community garden has still resulted in even a small employmentbenefit.Helping the U.S. Become Healthier and Potentially Lower Health CostsThe community garden has the potential to offer a better, more healthy selection of foods tocommunities that have become dependent on fast food as a major source of nutrition. If more of 16
    • the daily-recommended servings of fruits and vegetables can be met through the producing thesefood resources in a community garden, then there is a possibility for lowering overall healthcosts. If people are eating more fruits and vegetables, the theory is that over-time, they willgenerally be more healthy and lower incidences of disease. This could potentially lower thehealth care burden on a community health care facility. Healthier people in a community couldhelp the overall amount of money that a community can spend on other important service areas,such as education.Local Community Food SecurityLocalized Urban Agriculture efforts, such as community gardening practices, play an importantrole in addressing and providing for local community food security. Community gardens canincrease the Fairfax County community’s local food security by producing food for the marketwhich is locally available and need not be imported. Community gardens represent just oneUrban Agriculture practice which aid food security specifically by “increasing the availability ofhigh-quality, affordable food within a community, offering farmers an opportunity to maintaineconomic viability by supplying the local market with fresh foods, strengthening economic andsocial ties between farms and urban residents, and channeling a larger share of residents’ foodspending back to the local economy.” (22) According to the United State Department ofAgriculture’s (USDA) Assessment of Community Food Production Resources, “strengtheningyour community’s agricultural system can [also], over the long term, boost the effectiveness ofFederal food assistance and education programs.” (22) 17
    • COMMUNITY GARDEN PRACTICECase Study: Nottoway Park Community GardenThere are many ways in which citizens, communityleaders, local governments, and individuals cancontinue to utilize community gardens in FairfaxCounty, such as the initiative already underway inNottoway Park. There are also opportunities to expandthe existing community garden systems in FairfaxCounty. Expanding the application of communitygardens will allow more people to reap the benefits ofthis practice. This section describes communitygardening in Fairfax County, including an evaluation of Figure 1. Map of Fairfax Countyone of the current community gardens in NottowayPark. This section also includes a discussion of potential opportunities to expand community gardening in Fairfax County. Why is Community Gardening Good for Fairfax County, Virginia Community gardens clearly have been shown to have far-reaching benefits. In Northern Virginia, and more specifically in Fairfax County, there is much need and perhaps even a large desire for community garden opportunities so that residents can benefit from this Urban Agriculture practice. One sector of FairfaxFigure 2. Conceptual Development for Nottoway Park 18
    • County that was responsive to the practice of garden plots was within the Fairfax County Parksystem. Park administrators, whether consciously aware or not of the multitude of benefits fromcommunity gardens, planned for land use allotments in many of their county parks to provide theopportunity for residents to rent garden plots.The Fairfax County Park system, particularly the Nottoway Park, provides an excellent case tounderstand in what way and why Fairfax County is utilizing community gardening practices.Nottoway Park can even be used as a case to showcase how to improve and continue theseopportunities in the future.The following subsections provide an overview of the Fairfax County Park system, as well asspecific details about the garden plots in Nottoway Park.Fairfax County Park System, Green Spring GardensThe Fairfax County Park system provides anopportunity to rent a garden plot. The gardenplots are located throughout several of theFairfax County parks. The garden plots areopen to rent for residents within FairfaxCounty. The Fairfax County Park systemrefers to the program as Green SpringsGardens. The rented plots are typically 30feet by 20 feet, with some slight variations insize between locations, such as in Grist MillPark the several plots are 10 feet by 20 feet.(6) Throughout the paper there are severalphotos of garden plots in Fairfax County.The garden plots can be used for a variety of Figure 3. Google Maps Satellite View of Garden Plotspurposes, like growing vegetables and/or Source: Google Screen Shot Plotsornamentals. Growing vegetables in the http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&tab=wlgarden plots is the most predominant 19
    • utilization of the space, as determined by an evaluation of the garden plots in Nottoway Parkconducted in the summer of 2009.The plots within the county parks are rented to residents who apply on an annual basis and for aminimal fee. The plots are also rented on a first come first serve basis. (6)As is the case with many community garden areas, there are guidelines that govern the gardenplots in the Green Springs Gardens in Fairfax County Parks. However, these guidelines willoften act more as a rule than as a law. Violating any of the rules is not necessarily a criminal orcivic matter, but rather a Fairfax County Park system matter. The FCPA however does retain theright to evict a person found in violation of the rules. (6) Establishment of rules for communitygardens is essential to the efficient functions of a community garden area.The administrators establish the rules, which in this case is the Fairfax County Park Authority(FCPA), in cooperation and coordination with the plot renters and other interested citizens whohave attended past working meetings. The Garden Plot Rules and Guidelines have been revisedfor the 2010 season. A complete and final version of these rules and guidelines is included inAppendix B.Fairfax County Parks, Nottoway Park in Fairfax, VirginiaThe specific plots that were part of the research leading to the development of this paper werelocated within Nottoway Park in Vienna, Virginia. The location of Nottoway Park in relation tothe City of Fairfax and the Town of Vienna is found in Appendix A, Map of Fairfax County. Amap of the entire Nottoway Park is in Appendix C, including a Google Maps satellite view of thepark.Nottoway Park has 148 garden plots available for rent to Fairfax County residents. All of theplots are rented and there has been a waiting list to rent a plot in Nottoway Park for at least thelast two years. In Appendix D, the garden plot site map shows each of the plots available forrent by number. Appendix D also contains a satellite view of the Nottoway Park garden plotsspecifically, where it is possible to see the first glimpse of how the gardening varies from plot toplot. Nottoway Park maintains three water-dispensing areas for the garden plot renters, as aportion of the garden plot rental fee goes to pay for the water dispensed. 20
    • Considerations for Nottoway Park’s Community Garden Plots Nottoway Park represents a good example of how community gardening practices can be implemented. The Nottoway Park garden plots can be a case study one approach to implementing community gardens in Fairfax County, and perhaps in other counties in Northern Virginia. The Nottoway park garden plots can also be used toFigure 4. Example Plots Growing Only Vegetables provide recommendations and prescribed otheropportunities to improve current practices in the Fairfax County Park System. In Nottoway Park,there is an opportunity to better utilize the existing garden plots and/or expand the number ofplots. Food production within the existing plots can also be expanded.Assessment of Nottoway Park Garden Plots, Summer-Fall 2009 During the late summer of 2009, the garden plots in Nottoway Park were evaluated. Each plot was assessed based on a series of five questions (an example data sheet/question form is found in Appendix A.Figure 5. Example Plot Growing Both Vegetablesand OrnamentalsThe questions used to assess the current community garden practices in Nottoway Park were: 1. Has the plot been rented? 2. Does the plot appear to be maintained and/or tended for? 3. Does the tenant appear to be actively gardening in their plot? 4. Is the tenant utilizing the plot for growing vegetables? 5. Is the tenant growing vegetables and ornamentals in the plot? 6. Is the tenant utilizing the plot for gardening only ornamentals? 21
    • Any additional notes about individual plots werealso captured at the closing of the data sheet.This information was initially collected in August2009. The information and data sheets from theAugust 2009 assessment were reviewed again inSeptember 2009. A second assessment wasconducted in late-September where all of the plots Figure 6. Example Plot Growing Only Ornamentalswere revisited to determine if any informationcollected in August had changed. There were no noticeable changes in the type of activityconducted in the plots and no significantly identifiable change in the make-up of the garden plotsfrom August to late-September. Photos were also taken of each of the individual plots inSeptember.A map of Nottoway Park’s garden plots withcolor highlighting based in the assessmentconducted is found below, Map of Nottoway ParkAssessment Results. In this map, the garden plotsthat were viably growing at least some ediblevegetable plants and no ornamentals are shaded ingreen. Plots shaded in pink were determined to Figure 7. Example of Poorly Maintained Plotonly be growing ornamentals. Some plots weregrowing both vegetables and ornamentals and have been shaded in yellow. Several plots did not appear to be tended to, or were poorly maintained. These poorly maintained or bare plots are shaded in grey on the map below.Figure 8. Example of Bare or Overgrown Plot 22
    • Figure 9. Map of Nottoway Park Assessment Results 23
    • Based on this walk-around, first-hand, but peripheral assessments of the Nottoway Park gardenplots, 117 out of 142 available plots were determined to be growing at least some edible plants.The edibles were typically common garden vegetables, such as tomatoes, peppers, and lettuce.Some gardens also were growing herbs though. Tomatoes were by far the most commonvegetable grown in the most amounts of garden plots. Figure 10. Pie Chart of Utilization of Plots in Nottoway ParkThe utilization of garden plots in Nottoway Park by type is graphically depicted in Figure10.Table 1 also details the number of plots recorded in each of the four categories. The percentageof plots growing at least some vegetable plants is 90% of the total plots available for rent atNottoway Park. Table 1.  Composition of Plot Table and Percentages  Number   Percentage of   Composition of Plot  of Plots  Total Plots  Ornamentals  3  2%  Vegetables  90  63%  Both Vegetables & Ornamentals  27  19%  Poorly Maintained or Bare  22  15%  Total Number of Plots  142     24
    • Photo Series for Nottoway ParkSeveral series of photos are contained in Appendix B, Photo Series for Nottoway Park. Thesephotos were taken in the summer of 2009, mostly in August 2009. The first photo series depictssome of the plots growing edible vegetables. The next photo series depicts plots that appear tobe only utilized for growing ornamentals. Some plots grew a mixture of both ornamentals aswell as vegetables, and photos of these types of plots are included also in Appendix B. Plots thatdid not appear to be tended to or those that were poorly maintained are depicted in the fourthphoto series. The last photo series provides examples of plots that were bare or overgrown.Although a photo was taken at each plot location as part of the assessment of gardening practicesin Nottoway Park, figure 9 only presents the type of utilization and plots in the park. All photoswere taken by Ryan Sloan, Virginia Polytechnic University.Encouraging the Practice in Other Areas of Fairfax CountyThere are many ways to encourage the development of additional community gardens and/orgarden plots in other vacant and/or open space within Fairfax County. Areas “where neighborscan gather to cultivate plants, vegetables and fruit” do not need to be limited to the FairfaxCounty Park system. (16) Many of the barriers to creating viable and successful community gardens “can be overcome with local government engagement.” (16) The involvement of local government can be critical in the planning and initiation of a new community garden. Local governments can provide many of the resources that are needed toFigure 11. Photo of one existing outreach opportunity to start a community garden, at the small, mediumpromote urban agriculture or large-scale. When local governments getinvolved, they can often help to lessen the start-up costs and other barriers to success, “such asliability expenses, code restrictions and lack of resources.” (16) 25
    • The residents in the community will have a multitude of benefits from new opportunities toparticipate in community gardens, and the community at large as well as the local governmentcan also benefit in addition to the individual growers. For example, many urbanized areas have alack of open space. Community gardens can provide that open space, particularly in minorityand low income areas which may have a disproportionately lower amount of open space percapita. This can be a social equality issue where local government can step in to mitigate thedisparity in an inexpensive way by utilizing unused land by creating community gardens andbeautifying the area. (16)Recommendations for Encouraging Community Gardens in Fairfax CountySome recommendations on ways to reduce or eliminate the common barriers to implementingnew community gardens are provided below.Partnering with SchoolsThe opportunity to partner with the Fairfax County Public School should also be pursued foradditional opportunities to expand community gardening practices in Fairfax County. Schoolsystems can be an excellent place to start community gardens. There have been many benefitsfound for students and schools who participate in the practice of community gardens. (19)Schools also can be partnered with to provide education and outreach opportunities to thestudents. For example, “hands-on exposure to community gardens can teach students about thesource of fresh produce, demonstrate community stewardship and introduce the importance ofenvironmental sustainability.” (16) An environmental science and ecosystem sustainabilitycurriculum or aspect of a current curriculum can be developed to educate students and provide aunique outlet for learning.Education can extend beyond the traditional classroom as well, such as hosting after-school,storytelling, and even adult-learning sessions in the community gardens. In Fairfax County,expanded community garden opportunities could provide additional opportunities for residents to 26
    • participate in a wide range of activities and community projects such as “after-school programsfor children, activities for the elderly and a resource for food banks and shelters.” (16)Involving StudentsFairfax County can begin planning for potential places for start new community gardens bysurveying available resources to work on the initiative. For example, local high school studentsand college students could be used potentially to perform some preliminary planning work. In aPortland, Oregon community garden initiative, college students from Portland State Universitywere used to inventory “all city-owned land that could be used for community gardens and otherurban-agriculture initiatives.” (16)Non-profitsFairfax County could encourage a municipality-funded non-profit organization to supportdevelopment and maintenance of community gardens. This was done in Chicago with thenonprofit NeighborSpace and was successful. NeighborSpace “acts as a land-trust forcommunity gardens.” (16) NeighborSpace is funded by the city of Chicago, District of Chicago,and the Cook County Forest Preserve District who then accept liability for the garden sites,which now is over 50 sites. In this example, the local government has reduced the start-up costsand liability burdens that can be barriers to the development of community gardens. FairfaxCounty’s local government could employ a similar strategy in Virginia.Facilitated Volunteer GroupsLocal government can help to facilitate the organization of volunteers groups to createcommunity gardens in Fairfax County. Volunteer groups can be very helpful in communitygarden efforts. Volunteers can be organized during the initial planning and setting up of newcommunity gardens, which can be a rewarding experience for the volunteers as well as a benefitto the community. Volunteers can also be used to help maintain the gardens once they areestablished. For example, volunteers help to maintain the structure and order in the communitygardens in Nottoway Park, such as through their participation in creating new Garden Plots Rulesfor 2010 (refer to Appendix B). 27
    • National or State GrantsTaking advantage of any national or state grants, which may be available, is also an opportunityfor Fairfax County to expand on community gardening opportunities. Grant funding can beapplied to defray the start-up costs and get community gardening projects off-the-ground. ThePortland/Multnomah Food Policy Council (FPC) utilized available grants, for example, to fundthe creation of gardens in Oregon. (16)Inventory and Analysis of Community Food ProductionAn inventory and analysis could be conducted in Fairfax County to assess and analyze the foodproduction resources generated locally. The inventory and analysis could be particularly focusedon the food production resources that are generated from local community gardening practices.The Fairfax County could use a methodology for the assessment, which is similar to theassessment that was completed for by the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA)Community Food Security Assessment Toolkit. (22) The assessment could be conducted withthe assistance of an educational institution, like Virginia Polytechnic University’s NationalCapital Region or another university within close proximity or access to Fairfax County. Theassessment could inform the community about the food production resource currently generatedin the county. The assessment may also reveal gaps and opportunities for producing more localfood resources in Fairfax County. These gaps may also provide the citizens, communitymembers, and local government with direction on addressing the potential opportunities forproducing more food resources locally. The assessment could be focused on the followingquestions: 1. Does the county have any community gardens? 2. Do any of the schooled have school gardens? 3. Are there any school-based garden programs producing food resources which are in-turn consumed by the students of a school? 4. Do to the local schools purchase food from local producers and suppliers? 5. Are locally produced/grown foods available at local distributors and suppliers; retailers; and/or restaurants? 6. Are local food resources used at other institutional facilities or food service outlets? (ie. colleges, hospitals, prisons) 7. Are there low-income areas in the county, and do low-income households have a reasonable opportunity to participate in community gardens or other local food production practices? 28
    • These questions are derived from the questions analyzed by the USDA as part of the CommunityFood Security Assessment Toolkit. (22) Researching and responding to these questions throughan inventory, assessment, analysis, and results-based approach could produce findings forFairfax County to then focus future efforts on encourage locally produced food resources in theCounty. DISCUSSIONChallenges of Community GardensThere are a number of challenges that some Urban Agriculture practices are faced with, and insome instances these challenges may outweigh the benefits. The challenges range from conflictswith neighbors and soil contamination concerns to overcoming legal restraints. Many of themain hurdles for most people who decide to grow their own food, whether it is vegetables can bethe restrictions placed on them through municipal codes and state laws. If the urban farmerchooses to sell their food they will certainly face challenges from Federal food and drugregulations as well. “Agricultural activity in urban areas almost always contravenes some zoningregulation or by-law. Parks were never intended as grazing grounds for livestock, and the ownersof vacant land are rarely pleased to see it sprouting corn and beans.” (17)Aside from legal challenges, there exist unknown variables that can come into account as well.In an urban setting there is usually a person or persons in the area that has an idea of how an areashould look. These concerned citizens may elevate concerns on what types of activities areacceptable. Tensions may be heightened between individuals in the community if the conceptand application of urban agriculture is frowned upon. It is easy to see how growing vegetables inan otherwise well-groomed and manicured neighborhood may draw the ire of neighbors. In fact,it may not only offend neighbors.Economic challenges are nearly always present as well. Many of the community gardentechniques require sizable amount money to start the process. While it may not cost much toplant tomatoes in your own backyard, larger operations that could require water access, drainage 29
    • and specialized tools can easily become costly. In contrast to the economic limitations that maybe present for larger community projects, even smaller operations could face similar limitationsgiven the economic climate of the community.The potential for pollution and soil contamination issues are often present as well whenimplementing gardens in urban areas. Many people are not aware of their vulnerability to suchissues at the on-set. There is always a possibility the soil that is now being used for growingvegetables, at another point in time may have been used as a place to dump harmful chemicals.People should always send soil samples to laboratories to have them tested for the possibility ofpotentially hazardous pollutants present in their soils. If soils are contaminated there is alwaysthe possibility of addressing and/or circumventing the issue by building boxes on top of the soilfor gardening or trucking in local topsoil. Employing these strategies can reduce or eliminate thecontamination threat. Unfortunately, many people may not be educated on this issue and even ifthey are, it may not be possible to raise the funds to cover the costs.While it may not be widely known, some gardening and composting practices could produce foulsmelling odors. Odor issues could become classified as a public nuisance if severe enough.Composting garden trimmings in backyards or shared composting in community areas can alsobe controversial. The issue of odor is always present in compost operations that may causetension between neighbors. Health concerns are present as well in composting operations.Composting bins can produce molds and fungus that can contribute or cause allergic reactions insome people. (5) There is also an ever-present worry stemming from pathogens related todecaying compost and it’s recommended that some waste materials, such as food wastes frompeople who may be sick not be used. (5) The issue of waste disposal from gardening is also aconcern that raises issues within the law in regards to human health. Recently, there have been afew outbreaks of disease that has been transmitted from animals to human, such as swine flu oravian flu, which may draw questions about disease if the gardens were to start attracting wildlifethat is not normally present.While the benefits from reusing wastewater or grey water to irrigate crops may be a benefit insome aspects, it also raises health concerns. Mwale notes that the World Health Organization 30
    • (WHO) has indentified reused water as the single largest environmental pollutant killer in theworld. (17)In any agricultural setting there is a risk of losing crops to wildlife. Many of the threats can becombated with fences and traps, which in turn will consume time and money. For some foodraiders, pesticides and other chemicals are needed to mitigate the problem. Pesticides can bedangerous in an urban setting, due to the amount of people and pets that are in the area. Thechances of an individual misusing or someone accidentally getting into the pesticides are seriousconcerns, which are often raised. It is also plausible that urban areas could potentially have anincident that an endangered species comes into contact with a pesticide, fence, or a trap. Theoutcome of killing an Endangered Species that is raiding an gardening area could involve aviolation of the Endangered Species Act, a major Federal offense. (1) While it may be unlikelythat a conflict with a Federal statute could arise from small gardening operations, it remains apossibility that there is a greater likelihood that a state of local regulation could be violatedresulting in some penalty.It remained that the main hurdle for most individuals and communities is the lack ofinfrastructure components needed to produce good results from applying techniques andpractices of community gardening. Aside from the labor needed for Urban Agriculture, there arealso structural and economic needs. Using the Urban Agriculture practice of community gardensas an example, there will be many needs and challenges to implementation, which must beovercome for the effort to be successful. In the case of community gardening, for instance, someof the needs that must be met are where and how to acquire materials needed for gardens, such asgardening tools, wood and other building materials to create either permanent or temporary areasand structures for food production. There are also needs for topsoil and fertilizer, both of whichcan be found local or trucked in. Composting food waste into fertilizer is one way of gain amore sustainable source of fertilizer, as is the use of grey water and rainwater. Other materialsthat may be needed include fencing or traps to keep out animals that may take food. Theavailability of utilities such as electricity could also be a concern for many community gardeningoperations. If the needs for materials and utilization are met in a sustainable manner, communitygardens can provide many benefits. 31
    • Benefits of Urban AgricultureThe list of potential benefits of community gardens are not confined to individuals, but caninclude entire sections of a city or even an entire nation can reap the benefits. The benefits (andcosts for that matter) are often characterized as part of one of three categories: economic, social,and ecological. (18) Although some general and also some more specific benefits are describedhere, all of these benefits are part of a larger effort to provide food security, better nutrition, andrelieve some economic stress, while adding to the overall health of individual and communities.Some of the benefits of a sustainable gardening system include the ability to “incorporate social-justice issues into a more localized system; Alleviate constraints on people’s access to adequate,nutritious food; Develop the economic capacity of local people to purchase food; Train people togrow, process, and distribute this food; Maintain adequate land to produce a high proportion oflocally required food; Educate people, who have been increasingly removed from foodproduction, to participate in, and respect, its generation; and Integrate environmental stewardshipinto this process.” (12)Community gardening can be beneficial to families and communities by bringing them togetherto work towards raising food for each other. (13) Community gardening helps people realize adirect connection to where their food originates. Communities are creating a better environmentfor themselves, by increasing productive green space. Community gardening can also work as acatalyst for individuals and communities to become more stable with a greater sense ofentitlement by controlling their own food security and combating hunger. Community gardeningalso offers skills that teach people how to be more self reliant and ending dependency on othersfor basic life needs. (13)Community gardening can contribute to increasing the biodiversity of urban areas impacting theoverall urban ecosystem. With more plants growing in the urban areas, there is a possibility ofhelping to remove pollutants in air and water system. In addition, community gardening is also away for people to reduce their overall carbon footprint. It can also contribute to the reduction of 32
    • soil loss and siltation of waterways. Urban Agriculture has the ability for individuals to decreasethe amount of waste they produce through composting and reuse of wastewater. (13)In some cases around the country, an economic benefit of tax incentives can be found for UrbanAgriculture techniques. Legislation in New York City provides a tax incentive for owners anddevelopers of green roof systems in the form of a tax credit. The intent of the credit is to assistthe individuals who install such systems with the associated costs. The legislation is called theGreen Roof Tax Abatement. According to the legislation, owners who install green roofs thatcover a minimum of half of the roof space are entitled to a one-year credit of up to $100,000dollars. (11 )The benefits and challenges that surround community gardens can be overwhelming. I suggestthat these should not be hindrances, but rather unending opportunities for individuals to becomemore sustainable. The example of Fairfax County’s community gardens is just one smallinstance of the range of possibilities that exist and are increasing daily.ConclusionOne of the exciting aspects of becoming more sustainable through community gardening is thatthe techniques are being improved upon constantly. While getting a project started ordesignating a piece of land for a garden may be the hardest step, the potential benefits are eyeopening. In community gardens such as Nottoway Park, citizens must not simply be content toknow that there is a space available if necessary. Citizens must be proactive in making sure thatall of the space is being utilized to it’s fullest. As long as there is enough space it is crucial forthe success of the garden that the public be aware that if they want a garden plot it is available.Keeping the public interested in the community garden will be necessary to make sure the landdesignation stays and that the land remains safe and productive.While the Nottoway Park community garden is fairly self sufficient and appears to be runningsmoothly there are a few issues that could be addressed to increase the productivity and exposureof the garden. 33
    • From 2007 through 2009 the author has been on a waiting list to get a garden plot in Nottowaypark. It is clear from my visual survey that there is at least 22 plots that are either bare or poorlymaintained that could have been utilized. This speaks to a issue with proper management of thespace that is available in the garden. While there may be outside limitations restricting theeffective management of the individual plots, a better management and plot allocation is needed.One of the limitations that could be restricting the efficiency of the garden could be publicawareness or interest. The park has built very large interpretive signs that could be used togenerate interest, while simultaneously educating the public about the community gardening. Itis not hard to see that with a few small management changes and the proper utilization ofexisting signage, the park could drum up more support and interest in the community garden.The garden area of the park may not be the main focus of the park management, but interest inthe park and visitorship surely is and both could benefit from the changes suggested above. Thekey to success is to empower individuals to become more self sufficient. 34
    • Appendix A: Nottoway Park Assessment of Current Community GardenPracticesExample Data Sheet/Question FormPlot Number: ______________1. Has the plot been rented?Yes No2. Does the plot appear to be maintained and/or tended for?Yes No3. Does the tenant appear to be actively gardening in their plot?Yes No4. Is the tenant utilizing the plot for growing vegetables?Yes No5. Is the tenant growing vegetables and ornamentals in the plot?Yes No6. Is the tenant utilizing the plot for gardening only ornamentals?Yes NoNotes About the Plot: 35
    • Appendix B: Photo Series for Nottoway ParkSet 1: Example Plots Growing VegetablesPhoto 1.Photo 2. 36
    • Set 2: Example Plot Growing Only OrnamentalsPhoto 1. 37
    • Set 3: Example Plots Growing Both Vegetables and OrnamentalsPhoto 1.Photo 2. 38
    • Set 4: Example of Poorly Maintained PlotsPhoto 1.Photo 2. 39
    • Set 5: Example of Bare or Overgrown PlotsPhoto 1.Photo 2.All photos were taken by Ryan Sloan, Virginia Polytechnic University, 2009. 40
    • Appendix C: Photo of Outreach Opportunity LocationThis is a photo of an information board located at the entrance to the Nottoway Park communitygarden area. Information about Urban Agriculture and benefits of the practice of communitygardening for food production could be included in this informational kiosk. The informationcould be a form of education and outreach for members of the community.Photo was taken by Ryan Sloan, Virginia Polytechnic University, 2009. 41
    • Works Cited(1) 16 U.S.C. sect. 1532 (19) (1973).(2) Babbitt v. Sweet Home Chapter Of Communities For A Great Oregon, 94-859 (515 U.S. 687 June 29, 1995).(3) Bailkey, M., & Nasr, J. (2000). From Brownfields to Greenfields: Producing Food in North American Cities. Community Food Security News. Fall 1999/Winter 2000 .(4) Butler, L., & Maronek, D. (2002). "Urban Agricultural Communities: Opportunities for Common Ground. Council for Agricultural Science and Technology News . Ames, Iowa.(5) Cornell Waste Management Institute. (2006, April). Small Scale or Backyard Composting . Retrieved March 20, 2009, from Cornell Waste Management Institute: http://cwmi.css.cornell.edu/smallscalecomposting.htm(6) Fairfax County Park Authority. (2009, January 1). Green Spring Gardens. Retrieved March 20, 2009, from Fairfax County Virgina: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/gsgp/plots.htm(7) Fairfax County Park Authority. (2009). Map of Nottoway Park. Retrieved on October 1, 2009, from www.fairfaxcounty.gov/PARKS/gsgp/plotmap-nottoway.pdf(8) Fairfax County Park Authority. (N.D.). Conceptual Development Plan Map of Nottoway Park. Retrieved on October 1, 2009, from http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/providence/Images/Nttwy.cdp.jpg(9) Google Maps. (N.D.) Satellite View of Nottoway Park Address. Retrieved October 2, 2009, from http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&tab=wl(10) Gorham et al. (2009). HortTechnology. “The Impact of Community Gardens on Numbers of Property Crimes in Urban Houston”. v19: p 291-296. Retrieved on October 1, 2009, from: http://horttech.ashspublications.org/cgi/content/full/19/2/291(11) Green Roof Tax Abatement. NYC Real Property Tax Law, (f) sd.2 Sec. 467-a(12) Hamm, M. W., & Baron, M. (1999). Developing an Integrated, Sustainable Urban Food System: The Case of New Jersey, United States. In M. Koc, R. MacRae, Mougeot, & J. Welsh (Eds.), For Hunger-proof Cities: Sustainable Urban Food Systems (pp. 54-59). Ottawa, Onterio, Canada: International Development Research Centre . 42
    • (13) Heimer, L. (2008, 12 1). Benefits of Urban Agriculture. Retrieved April 25, 2009, from Sprouts in the Sidewalk: http://sidewalksprouts.wordpress.com/ua/benefits/(14) Holland Barrs Planning Group. (2002, November). Southeast False Creek Urban Agriculture Strategy. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada: City Farmer, Canadas Office of Urban Agriculture.(15) Knowd, I., Mason, D., & Cocking, A. (2006). Urban Agriculture: The New Frontier. Planning for Food Seminar (pp. 1-22). Vancouver: Planning for Food Seminar.(16) Local Government Commission. (2008). “Cultivating Community Gardens: The Role of Local Government in Creating Healthy, Livable Neighborhoods.” Retrieved on September 20, 2009, from http://www.lgc.org/freepub/docs/community_design/fact_sheets/community_gardens_cs. pdf(17) Mwale, F. P. (2006, January 18). Growing Better Cities: Urban Agriculture for Sustainable Development. (I. U. Development, Producer) Retrieved April 10, 2009, from Working with Urban Farmers for Food Security: http://www.idrc.ca/in_focus_cities/(18) Nugent, R. A. (1999). Measuring the Sustainability of Urban Agriculture. In For Hunger- proof Cities: Sustainable Urban Food Systems (pp. 95-102). Ottawa, Onterio, Canada: International Development Research Centre .(19) Ozer, E. (2007, December 1). Health Education & Behavior.“The Effects of School Gardens on Students and Schools: Conceptualization and Considerations of Maximizing Healthy Development.” Vol. 34, No. 6, pp. 846-863. Retrieved on June 22, 2009, from: http://heb.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/34/6/846(20) Smit, J. (2002). Community-Based Urban Agriculture As History And Future. Washington, DC.(21) The Growing Power. (2009). Milwaukee Farms and Projects. Retrieved April 17 2009, from The Growing Power: http://www.growingpower.org/milwaukee_projects.htm(22) U.S.D.A. Economic Research Service. (2002, July). Community Food Security Assessment Toolkit. Barbara Cohen. ERS Contacts: Margaret Andrews and Linda Scott Kantor. E- FAN No. (02-013) 166 pp. Retrieved October 6, 2009, from http://www.ers.usda.gov/Publications/EFAN02013/ 43
    • (23) U.S. Census Bureau. (2009, May 7). U.S. Population Clock. Retrieved May 7, 2009, from U.S. Census Bureau: http://www.census.gov/main/www/popclock.html(24) Victory Seed Company. (2008, December 12). Victory Gardens. Retrieved May 2, 2009, from Victory Seeds: http://www.victoryseeds.com/TheVictoryGarden/page2.html(25) Wyndham, S. (2005, December 19). An Urban Farm for Jubilee Homes of Syracuse, Inc. Syracuse, NY. 44