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  • 1. Evaluation ofCommunity Gardens(A program of the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension) Report produced by Jill Florence Lackey & Associates February 1998
  • 2. Principal investigator Jill Florence Lackey, Ph.D. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSJill Florence Lackey and Associates would like to acknowledge thecontributions of the following research assistants in this project:Statistical analysis, TIM Welnetz; interviewing, Matthew Balistrieri,Randall Brown, Mary Kerry, AhMad Muhammad, Carlos Rodriguez,Carolyn Taylor, and Kate Terskan; data entry, Elena Schafer.The author wishes to express her thanks to the following individuals forassisting in the development of evaluation instruments, facilitatinginterviews and/or reviewing this document: Stan Binnie, HorticultureAgent for Waukesha County UW-Extension; Margaret Ernst, HorticultureEducator for Waukesha County UW-Extension; Thomas Kalb,Horticulture Agent for Kenosha County UW-Extension; DennisLukaszewski, Urban Agriculture Coordinator for Milwaukee County UW-Extension; Greg Matysik, Professor of Youth Development, UW-Extension; and Sharon Morrisey, Horticulture Agent for MilwaukeeCounty UW-Extension.The author also wishes to thank the UW Extension for supplying many ofthe photographs that appear in this report Faculty and other personnelfrom the Kenosha County office received permission from clients (andparents of youth clients) to reproduce these photographs in reports.The evaluation was funded through the UW-Extension Urban initiative,UW-Extension Building Supportive Communities for Families & YouthIssues Team, and UW-Extension county offices in Kenosha, Milwaukeeand Waukesha.Cover photograph: A school group sowing seeds together in the Fieldof Dreams food pantry garden.
  • 3. Table of ContentsChapter One: introduction to Community Gardens The Community Gardens program Gardens selected for evaluationChapter Two: Evaluation design and methods Overview of evaluation design Evaluation staff and timelinesChapter Three: overview of evaluation findings Program importance ratings Preview of most significant outcome findingsChapter Four. The material deliverables of gardening Health benefits of gardening The money clients saved on foodChapter Five: Gardening and meanings Gardening as a strategy to transmit cultural heritage Gardening as an enjoyable practice Gardening to convene with the natural environmentChapter Six: Social and psychosociall benefits Gardening as a strategy in building communities Gardening to promote social justice Gardening to build personal characterChapter Seven: Future challenges Retaining land sites for gardening Developing collective management for the gardensChapter Eight: Summary and Recommendation Summary of evaluation RecommendationsBibliographyAppendix A: Program Process and Management TablesAppendix B: Original Findings on Exercise Activities
  • 4. List of TablesTable 2.1. Interviewee characteristics.Table 2.2. Posttest participants.Table 3.1. Ratings given by Community Gardens clients on the personal importance of the program.Table 4.1. Self-reports of 1/2 cup helpings of vegetables eaten during past 24 hours.Table 4.2. Reported eating habits during past four months.Table 4.3. Organic Choices of rental gardeners.Table 4.4. Hours spent exercising in last week.Table 4.5. Calories expended in last weeks exercise.Table 4.6. Reasons selected for participating in the Community Gardens program.Table 4.7. Estimated dollars saved on food by growing vegetables through the program.Table 5.1. Reasons given to participate in program.Table 5.2. Reasons given to participate compared with program rating: Adult clients.Table 5.3. Reasons given to participate compared with program rating: Youth clients.Table 5.4. Reasons given for participation in program.Table 5.5. Youth and gardening practice.Table 5.6. Reported changes in valuing nature during past four months: Adult participants.Table 5.7. Reported changes in valuing nature during past four months: Youth participants.Table 6.1. Changes in forging fellowship during the past four months.Table 6.2. Reported work in improving local neighborhoods in past four months.Table 6.3. Volunteering for the hungry.Table 6.4. Reported food-sharing during past four months.Table 6.6. Resource choice of Community Gardens clients.Table 7.1 Tasks that clients said they would be willing to do.
  • 5. Chapter One:Introduction to Community Gardens During 1997, the research consultant firm of Jill Florence Lackey and Associates conducted an evaluation of Community Gardens-a program administered by the University of Wisconsins Cooperative Extension. This chapter will introduce the program and the specific gardens evaluated by this research team. The Community Gardens Program Community gardening had its roots in the Victory gardens of World War II. Victory gardens were developed in the United States to support the war effort and to supplement food production at home during a time when much of the agricultural labor force was overseas. The American Community Gardening Association grew out of the victory garden movement and has been a voice and consolidating force for urban horticulture ever since. The University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension founded the first Wisconsin community garden 25 years ago on the Milwaukee "county grounds"-a site that today hosts 1003 rental plots. Within two decades the program expanded throughout Milwaukee County. Additional programs were initiated in nearby Waukesha and Kenosha Counties. Today, Community Gardens sponsors three types of programs: (1) rental gardens, (2) youth gardens, and (3) gardens designed to serve the clientele of local food pantries. The gardens within these categories are diverse enough to meet the needs of culturally specific populations and community needs, but all offer a core of resources including arable land sites, gardening tools, compost, and horticultural information through direct teaching, telephone hotlines, and various media (e.g., videos, written materials, and television and radio programs).
  • 6. Because of the unwieldy number of Community Gardens, the evaluationteam and program stakeholders selected a sample of garden sites forevaluation. The selection criteria included the following: • at least one garden would be evaluated from each program category; • the gardens selected would more-or-less typify their program categories; • the gardens selected would serve a minimum of 15 clients each; • the garden sites would have easily accessible client lists (for data collection purposes).In addition to these criteria, the program staff suggested adding a newlydeveloping garden to the sample. The staff thought it was important for theevaluation team to understand the processes and challenges involved instarting up a gardening program.The following section summarizes the garden sites that were eventuallyselected for the evaluation. in addition to describing the general locationand resources of each garden, we have added information on the particularpolitical constraints and opportunities involved in each programsdevelopment No assessment of the Community Gardens program would becomplete without a description of the land tenure issues this project hasfaced-and continues to face-throughout its history.Gardens selected for evaluationThe final list of gardens in the evaluation sample included four rentalgardening sites (with one start-up garden), two youth gardening sites, andone pantry gardening site.Rental GardensCommunity Gardens rental programs lease plots to local residents andgroups, often in collaboration with community-based organizations. Somegardening sites are located in urban neighborhoods and others are in moreoutlying areas. The 1997 rental rates and plot sizes vary by county, but rangefrom $10 to $22 annually for plots between 4000 and 900 square feet Pl.Gardeners are expected to keep their areas free of weeds and trash, andrespect their neighbors boundaries. In return, Community Gardens rototillsthe plots each year, provides tools and compost and offers horticulturalinformation in various forms.
  • 7. Milwaukee rental garden: county grounds.The 25-year old county grounds site accommodates 1003 garden plots forover 350 families. According to program documents, 60 percent of thesefamilies are low income, and just over half live in apartments or flats.Nearly one-third of the clientele served at this location are Hmongs who immigrated to the United States within the past two decades.Most of the Hmong immigrants practiced slash-and-burnhorticulture in their native counties of Laos, Thailand, and China.This very large rental area is challenged bV limited access to water However,the site offers a variety of gardening resources, including standard plots,organic-practices-only gardens, and demonstration plots where mastergardeners teach advanced horticultural techniques. The area is accessible byroads and bus, and most of the gardens are set far enough back from themain highways to avoid vandalism. The program collaborates withAmericorps, whose volunteers help rototill the land, participate in gardenmaintenance, and facilitate some community involvementThe county grounds are located in an undeveloped area just north of theMilwaukee County Medical Complex. The University Cooperative Extensionhas always used the land from Milwaukee County. In the past two years, theMilwaukee County Executive made budget proposals to sell a major portion ofthe county grounds for commercial development. This action would probablylead to the eviction of the gardening program. A nearby suburban groupunrelated to Community Gardens organized against the sale of the Rental garden at county grounds, Milwaukee County.
  • 8. land, arguing that members did not want to lose their natural surroundings. The group won a brief moratorium on the development decision and the County Board agreed to set up an advisory panel to investigate the issue. In the meantime, the gardeners-some who have been in the program for over 20 Vears-were left uncertain about their future. one program stakeholder summarized the frustration felt by many gardeners. Milwaukee start-up garden: Mitchell garden site. The Mitchell gardens are located in Oak Creek, a bedroom community of the City of Milwaukee. The site currently has 135 plots, serving approximately 65 families. Program records indicate that nearly all of the families renting the gardens are middle to upper-middle class European Americans. Most are also home-owners, although the program is now attempting to draw a clientele from retirement villages and apartment complexes.Boy working in his familysrental garden.
  • 9. The Mitchell site offers the core resources for rental programs-tools,compost, rototilling, and horticultural education. Newly opened in thespring of 1997, the area presented a number of environmental challenges.First the soil quality was lower than expected. Second, gardeners hadproblems with the wild animal population In the area. And third, the nearbycreek flooded its banks in the spring and washed out the garden plots. Mostof the gardeners had to replantThe original Mitchell gardens actually occupied a more desirable land site twoyears ago. For 25 years, the gardens were located at Whitnall and BrustAvenues, and were comprised of over 400 plots managed by 220 families. Inaddition to serving European American clients, these gardens attractedHmong and Latino families. In 1997 a local group, comprised of area residentsand political and business leaders, requested the removal of the gardens. Acorporate neighbor maintained that a little league park would be a moreappropriate choice for the site, and committed to help build it in an effortto find a new location for the gardens, program staff contacted a nearbyvillage, offering to develop gardens in their industrial park. Village officialsimmediately rejected the offer, claiming that the gardens would not lookgood in an industrial park.Community Gardens staff were eventually able to negotiate a new land site inOak Creek, although the area was less desirable than the previous one.Many of the clients and collaborators from the original site returned to theprogram-some a bit disenchanted. The largest loss of gardeners was theHmong and Latino families. The original site of the Mitchell gardens now liesvacant, and discussions of the little league park apparently never resumed.Below, a stakeholder summarizes the experience.
  • 10. Waukesha rental gardens: Northview grounds.The Waukesha County program has two rental gardening sites-one quartered in a low-incomehousing project, and a second open-access site located on county-ownedgrounds next to the Huber work-release jail. Because the latter site offeredopen access to any residents, it was considered a more appropriateevaluation choice.The Northview gardens are comprised of 63 rental plots gardened by 50 families. Most of thefamilies are European Americans from the working- or middle-classes. The site offers coreresources for rental gardens and has good access to water in addition, it is situated near a road anda bus stop, but is set back far enough from the traffic flow to hinder vandalism and theft Rental garden at Northview grounds, Waukesha County.
  • 11. That decision was made four years ago, but today the County Board isrevisiting the Northview grounds issue. In December of 1997, WaukeshaCounty announced that it planned to study the use of the Northviewgrounds and consider economic development of the area. The County ParksManager and the County Board are expected to consider a wide range ofalternative uses for the land by early 1998 (Milwaukee Joumal-Sentinel 1997) 1.While the development issue emerged shortly after the data were collectedfor this evaluation, one Waukesha garden stakeholder did express concernsthat the program would always risk loss of its land, due to competingpolitical and economic interests. These comments appear below.Kenosha rental gardens: Northside site.Kenosha has two rental garden sites-- the Northside Community Gardens and acentral (downtown) site. The Northside gardens were selected for this evaluationbecause they had more participants. The Northside site accommodates 45 lotsserving 28 families and community groups. most of the families are EuropeanAmericans and come from a working- or middle-class backgrounds.Located next to the Northside Public Library, the Northside gardens aresituated on a six acre lot that is shared with one of the programs pantrygardens. The farmland site has good soil quality, and offers core rentalresources, good access to water, available parking, and a nearby bus stop.1. While under study, additional land on this property has been gained due to thesuccess of the existing Community Gardens program.
  • 12. Family watering tomatoes in their rental garden: Kenosha County.As with most Kenosha gardens, the Northside land was donated by a privatebenefactor for temporary use. When gaining access to the propertM thelandowner informed staff that the Property could be developed in 1997.Despite the small risk, staff accepted the property because it was located inthe hub of the neighborhood and was surrounded by apartment dwellers-atargeted clientele 9MUP. The program staff sectioned off the land and placedthe rental gardeners in the area least likely to be developed, to minimize therisk of clients losing their lands,Of all three counties, the Kenosha programs appear to have the mostcommunity backing from business and political sectors. The CountyExecutive, many county supervisors, city officials, several corporations, and ahost of community-based organizations have expressed public support forCommunity Gardens and collaborate with them on various projects. Thissupport has often left the program with land options, and program staff candraw upon an inventory of potential benefactors when any site is lost OneKenosha stakeholder sums up the issue of the Northside gardens as follows.
  • 13. Youth GardensAll three counties host youth gardening programs, most often incollaboration with local community and daycare centers. Like the rentalgardens, these sites can be located in urban neighborhoods or in moreoutlying areas. Unlike the rental gardeners, youth participants do not usuallygarden for a full season. The youth programs range in length from 4 to 18weeks, although the children can choose to continue garden ing-pa rticularIVif the garden is located in their own neighborhood. In addition to the actualexperience of gardening, programming may include nutrition classes,instruction in ecological topics, field trips, gardening games, stories, andcraft-making. Most of the clientele in all three counties are members ofethnic minorities and come from low income families. The gardens are oftendesigned to reflect this diversity, Some gardens are arranged according toethnic themes (e.g., salsa gardens, African Heritage, Native American gardens),and others are arranged according to rainbow color schemes.Leaders of the African Heritagegarden, where youth grow vegetableswhich are historically important toAfrican and African-Americancultures. The youth gardens selected for this evaluation were the Waukesha County/La Casa Center collaborative garden, and the Kenosha County/Lincoln Center collaborative garden.
  • 14. Waukesha County youth prden: La Casa collaborative.The Waukesha County/La Casa youth garden program is a collaborative effort between theUniversity Cooperative Extension and La Casa cle Esperanza, a Waukeshacommunity center During the summer of 1997, the program served anaverage of 20 children between the ages of 8 and 15-mostIV Latino and someEuropean American and African American.The gardening program is integrated with La Casas summer claycareprogram, which also offers the children field trips to educational sites,lessons in fishing, and hiking expeditions (among other resources). Activitiesat the gardens include Instruction on horticultural techniques and nutrition,salad-building, cultivating salsa plots (cilentro, tomatoes, peppers), keepinggardening journals (see example below), constructing scarecrows andcompost piles, mulching, looking for evidence of animals and bugs, storytelling, and gardening games Children planting peppers together In their garden. The Waukesha/La Casa garden is located on the same site as the rental gardens, which means that this open-access program is equally threatened bV loss of land if the County opts for redevelopment of the NOrthview grounds. The only other Waukesha youth gardens are situated on land owned by a New Berlin child care center.
  • 15. Kenosha youth gardens: Lincoln collaborative. 2The Kenosha/Lincoln youth gardens are a collaborative effort between the University cooperativeExtension and Lincoln Neighborhood Community Center This project isKenoshas largest youth garden. (The Kenosha program also collaborates withthe Spanish Center, the Shalom Center, the Boys and Girls Club, and theChristian Youth Center on other youth gardens.) The gardens are located ontwo sites within a block of the Lincoln Center One of these sites has beendeveloped into an African Heritage garden featuring indigenous Africanvegetables. During the summer of 1997, the Kenosha/Lincoln gardens servedan average of 15 youth each class between the ages of 3 and 17-mostlyAfrican Americans.Garden program activities include cultural heritage programming,horticultural and nutrition instruction, story-telling, gardening games, artsand crafts, and collaborates with a sponsorship program that provides theeducation and health care of a boy and girl in Africa. The children alsoparticipate in beautifying the gardens. They helped create colorful signs forthe youth gardens (see below), assist in garden maintenance, and planted Kenosha/Lincoln youth garden. The signs Include colorful handprints of the youth participants. 2 The evaluation team also included three youth from the Kenosha/Spanish Center garden in the survey sample, as the many of the Kenosha/Lincoln youth were too young to understand the survey questions (i.e., under the age of nine).
  • 16. The Kenosha youth gardens are all located on city- and privately-owned sites.Program staff seek out abandoned lots in central city neighborhoods,contact the owners, and ask them if they would be willing to lend the landto the collaborative. The staff have been successful in getting benefactorsthis way in addition, both the city and county governments have invitedCommunity Gardens staff to make use of more of their properties.Pantry GardensPantry gardens are projects designed to distribute fresh vegetables to the clients of soup kitchensand pantries. Currently onIy Milwaukee and Kenosha Counties have these gardens. In Milwaukee,pantrV recipients are offered free garden plots near the food pantries in order to grow their ownvegetables. In Kenosha, needy and unneedy volunteers grow food in fields of two acres or more tostock local food pantries and soup kitchens.Kenosha pantry garden: Field of Dreams.The Kenosha pantry garden was named after the movie "Field of Dreams." In the movie, KevinCostner believed that if he built a baseball field for deceased Hall of Famers, "they would come."The Kenosha staff followed a similar vision, developed a volunteer garden to help the needy, andtrusted the volunteers to come. They did. In the two Vears since the garden opened, the project hasdrawn nearIV 550 volunteers and harvested over 45 tons of food (or 305,000 vegetable helpings)for local food pantries and soup kitchens. Volunteers shucking beans In parking lot adjacent to a Field of Dreams garden. These beans were delivered to food pantries.
  • 17. Program staff helped organize the massive project through a volunteerhotline. Here volunteers could call in and leam when theV were needed atthe gardens. in addition to volunteers, the Field of Dreams project bringstogether various communitV groups, including churches, Vouth organizations,local farmers, the Salvation ArmV, the Optimist Club, the Shalom Center, theBusiness and Professional Women, and the Kenosha CountV governmentThe Field of Dreams gardens are currentIy situated on three sites-alltemporarilV donated by land owners. One of these gardens is on theNorthside lands that are slated for development (The project had previousIVlost a parcel of land in 1996.) However, the program staff in Kenosha feelconfident that their high profile in the community and the public expressionof support they have received will insure ongoing land donations to keep theprogram viable. In his State of the CountV address, the County ExecutiveJohn Collins, described why he felt the Field Of Dreams was a "best practices"candidate.
  • 18. Summary During 1997, the research consultant firm of Jill Florence Lackev and Associates conducted an evaluation of CommunitV Gardens-a collaborative program administered bv the county offices of the University of Wisconsins Cooperative Extension. CommunitV Gardens sponsors programs in Milwaukee, Waukesha, and Kenosha Counties. The gardening sites sampled for this evaluation include four rental gardens, two youth gardens, and one garden designed to serve the clientele of local food pantries. The following chapter will summarize the research design and methods used in this evaluation.Volunteers working togetherIn the Field of Dreams togrow food for the poor. Examples of cards produced by youth at Milwaukee youth garden (Havenwood).
  • 19. Chapter Two: EvaluationDesign and MethodsThis chapter will describe the evaluation design, methodology, procedures,and the study participants. Overview of evaluation designThis evaluation relied on "critical multiplism" for the strength of its design.According to Cook (1985), an evaluation requires multiple realizations inresearch questions, data sources, methods, samples, measures, and analysesto establish the validity of the study. Key findings should reflect points ofconvergence among various data sources (triangulation), help attributeresults to program activities, and reduce alternative explanations. in thespirit of critical multiplism, we incorporated both qualitative and quantitativecomponents in the evaluation of Community Gardens.Qualitative componentinformed bV "fourth generation evaluation" (Guba and Lincoln, 1989), weincluded qualitative data collection procedures in our overall design. Theconstructivist approach of Guba and Lincoln looks beyond the positivist searchfor causal and universal relationships. According to these authors, anyobserved action is the result of a "large number of mutual, simultaneousshapers, each of which is constantly shaping, and being shaped bv, all othershapers (p.106)." Guba and Lincoln also assume that project problems andsolutions may have local applicability onlV, and may not apply to the overallprogram. This approach was particularly useful for Community Gardens,
  • 20. because the evaluation team learned early that the gardeners were anythingbut a homogeneous group. Clients participated in the program for a varietyof reasons and experienced multiple outcomes based in part on their originalmotivations and their subsequent experiences. We also became aware thateach county and each garden had its own particular histories, which hadprofound influences on the individual programs (see previous chapter).Qualitative research designs tend to be fluid, and thus avoid closing topics of inquiry too early(Spradley 1980). In a typical quantitative model, an instrument used to measure program effects isalmost never changed. The program may go through modifications, or the evaluators may discoverother indicators of program effects, but the measurements must remain consistent throughout thetesting periodisi, or risk threats to validity. For that reason, these models fail to locate unintendedoutcomes of programs (Koppelman, 1983). in contrast, qualitative measurement instruments areoften open-ended or semi-structured, and can allow for new information, new indicators, or newmeanings that will add depth and holism to the evaluation.Guba and Lincoln (as well as Fetterman, 1994) advise getting stakeholders together early toinventory potential program meanings and success inclicatom in the spring of 1997, members of theevaluation team began to meet with program staff to gather Preliminary information. Because of thelate start of the evaluation, the group was not able to bring other stakeholders to the table. However,program staff did contact various categories of clients and collaborators and asked them to submitevaluation topics to the group. From these the evaluation team developed semistructured qualitativeprotocols.Qualitative data gathering procedures. Qualitative methods included review of program documents, participant observation at gardens,and 47 interviews of program stakeholders.Document review.Members of the evaluation team reviewed annual reports, promotional materials, collaborator reports,and newspaper articles on each of the gardens, as these documents were made available.
  • 21. Participant observation.members of the evaluation team observed daily Chapter Tw program activities between 3 and20 times at each garden. Team members took notes and photographs during sessions, and alsoobserved two Evaluation educational programs in progress at the youth gardens.Limitations.The design relatively small budget of the evaluation, the short duration of the project,and the large geographical area the program covered limited the amount of and methodobservation that was possible. No evaluation team members attended staffmeetings, conferences, collaborator meetings, or political events thataffected the program. Moreover, the short period of time we spent doingthis evaluation (six months) limited the amount of program contextinformation we could collect As a result we relied heavily on second-handinformation (particularly from the interviews) for the historical andcollaborative dimensions of the program.Interviews. Members of the evaluation team conducted 47 semi-structuredinterviews with program stakeholders, which included gardeners, staff,horticultural educators, parents of youth gardeners, and collaborators.Three-quarters of the interviews were conducted in-person, and one-quarterwere given over the telephone (due to geographical distances). Samplingwas done by peer nomination 3 (except in the case of the Milwaukee countygrounds garden, where some gardeners were selected randomly). The 47interviews included 17 from the Milwaukee rental gardens (county grounds) 4,5 from the Milwaukee start-up garden (Mitchell), 3 from the Waukesha rentalgarden (Northview), 6 from the Waukesha/La Casa youth garden, 4 from theKenosha rental garden (Northside), 6 from the Kenosha/Lincoln youthgarden, and 6 from the Kenosha pantry garden (Field Of Dreams). Of theseinterviewees, 22 were gardeners, 10 were staff or program volunteers, 7 wereyouth horticultural teachers, 4 were collaborators, and 4 were parents ofyouth gardeners. See Table 2.1 for these and other intervieweecharacteristic&3 Because of the relatively large number of collaborators, educators, and staffinvolved in the youth gardens (and the relatively small number of stakeholdersinterviewed per garden), the decision was made by the group to exclude youthfrom the qualitative interviews. However, those stakeholders interviewed In thequantitative component of these gardens were all youth clients.4 Here, as in the quantitative component, the sample size at the countygrounds garden is approximately four times the sample size of the other gardens.This is due to the extremely large number of clients served at this site (1003 plots, 350 families).
  • 22. During interviews, members of the evaluation team asked all participants todescribe typical program activities at each garden, discuss what the programmeant to them, and assess program strengths and weaknesses (and if theparticipants actualIy gardened, we also asked them how they had learned thisskill). we questioned youth garden staff and educators about their observationsof children in the program and various learning contexts. Parents of the youthgardeners were asked about changes in their childrens behaviors sinceparticipating in the gardens and the prospects.for parental involvement in theprogram. The evaluation team asked stakeholders in the start-up garden torelate their experiences with a new garden site. We questioned the pantrystakeholders about hunger issues in Kenosha and how the gardens affectedthe food supplies in pantries and soup kitchens.
  • 23. Qualitative data analysis.The qualitative data were analyzed using componential and domain analysis(Spradley, 1980). These strategies seek out specific categories -or domains-ofmeaning in the data (e.g, "X is a reason for growing vegetablesl, and then search for dimensions of contrast among andwithin these domains.In addition to giving us data on program descriptions and meanings, ourqualitative component also strengthened our quantitative component(presented next) in three ways. First the qualitative data helped to increasethe internal validity of our quantitative findings, a recommended strategy inthe literature (Posovac and Carey, 1989). Through our observations andinterviews, we were able to at least partially attribute many of thequantitative results to actual activity. For example, quantitativefindings suggested that gardeners were significantly more likely to reportsharing food with others during the previous four months than members ofthe comparison groups. From our observations we saw that gardeners wereconstantly offering fresh vegetables to strangers, including us. From ourinterviews, we heard gardeners describe how they and others cultivatedvegetables with the primary or secondary purpose of donating them to theirchurches, to food pantries, or to needy (and not-so-needy) neighbomSecond, we were able to use our qualitative data to strengthen ourquantitative design. From our observations and interviews, we were in abetter situation to select comparison groups for each garden. Weunderstood which social processes and demographic variables wereimportant (and which were not) when we were seeking specific comparisongroups. For example, we leamed during interviews that gardeners used theprogram to transmit their cultural heritage to their young, and that this wasparticularly important to the Hmong clientele. We then knew that we had tomatch our comparison group participants by ethnicity.Third, we also modified our survey instruments as we collected qualitative data.For example, we began by assuming that only volunteers in theKenosha pantry garden would participate in the program in order to give awayfood. But our qualitative data showed us that even rental gardeners were activein this pursuit Thus we added a survey question on sharing food, and ended upbeing able to report this as an unintended effect of the program, overall.The following section presents the quantitative component.
  • 24. Quantitative componentBecause the evaluation team was contracted after the gardening seaso n wasalready in progress, we were not able to develop an experimental or quasiexperimental evaluation design-both which require pretests of interventionand comparison group participants before program services begin. Withlimited options, we developed a posttest-onIV design with intervention andnonequivalene comparison groups (although one series of questions wereasked retrospectively in an attempt to compare some behaviors over theexpanse of the gardening season. Royse (1991) and Rutman (1983) maintainthat a posttest-onIy design with a comparison group is not as strong as theexperimental models, but is stronger than pretest-posttest designs with onegroup only (program clients).We selected comparison groups for each of the gardens under study. Theprocess involved a number of considerations. First, each garden servedclients with specific characteristics. Not only did the gardens serve differentgeographical areas, but each garden category-rental, youth, and pantryattracted a unique type of client Fortunately we were able to delaydecisions on the comparison sites until we had completed most of ourobservations and interviews. From the qualitative data we were betterpositioned to understand the characteristics of the clients in each program.in order to capture the differences between program types, we firstmatched groups as aggregates. For example, we knew that the Field ofDreams gardeners participated in the program, not to cultivate vegetablesfor their own consumption, but to donate their time and produce to theneedy. Thus we sought a body of volunteers for our pantry comparisongroup that was helping underprivileged people.This means that the groups were not randomly selected from the same poolof potential participants, as in the case of experimental evaluation models.In one series of Instrument questions, we asked Intervention andcomparison group respondents about their activities during the previous fourmonths. A statement was read (e.g., "In the past four months, I have made morefriends than usual") and respondents selected answers from a scale ("O=stronglydisagree, 1 =disagree, 2-not sure, 3=agree, 4=strongly agree").
  • 25. Second, we understood from our qualitative findings that some individual characteristics across allprogram categories would be important variables to match. For example, we learned duringinterviews that cultural background played a role in the motivation to garden. We also knew thatwe would have to match Participants by age level and gender because we would be measuringseveral age- and sex-sensitive behaviors, such as daily exercise and diet. Thus we soughtmatching pairs of participants by ethnic group, age, and gender. 7Third, we understood from the literature that comparison participants should be involved inprograms, or receiving some kind of common service (as long as the service was not that whichwas provided by the program being evaluated). Posovac and Carey (1989) argue that the attentionalone that program clients receive may account for changes in their behaviors over time. Thus wesought comparison groups that were linked by common services.With these three principles in mind, we selected several comparison group sites. The sites areoutlined below, with descriptions of the aggregate and individual traits we sought to match with theprogram groups.Comparison groups for rental garden.Aggregate traits. Rental gardeners participated in the program for a variety of reasons, but mostlyto improve the quality of their lives, and gain some sense of self-efficacy. They did not usuallyparticipate in gardening activities collectively (although there were opportunities to do so), but usedprogram resources on an individual basis. Rental gardeners came from all social classes, all agegroups, all educational backgrounds, and all ethnicities. For the comparison site, we pursued acollectivity that would attract this diversity, and seek common, selfenrichment services on anindividual basis. We selected University adult study programs (both degree and non-degree) in allthree counties-UWMilwaukee in Milwaukee, UW-Waukesha in Waukesha, and UW-Parkside inKenosha. Individual traits. We attempted to match the intervention and comparison groups on thebasis of ethnic backgrounds (because of the cultural salience of gardening), and age and gender(because of the age and gender variation in dailV exercise, diet and social factors).7 See Rossi and Freeman (1987) for further description of aggregate and pair matching in comparison groups.
  • 26. We ran into problems matching the Hmong clients from the Milwaukee rental gardens. The Hmong University students were generally much younger than the gardening group. We tried to develop a separate comparison group for the Hmong gardeners, but when we contacted several Hmong-serving programs we were told that their clients were also avid gardeners (and many participated in the Community Gardens program). We ended up settling for a somewhat younger Asian sample in our comparison group than we had intended. Comparison group for youth gardens. Aggregate traits. Unlike the rental gardens, youth were more likely to participate collectively in community Gardens. Typically, they came to their sites from community or daycare center programs. In addition, most of the children came from low income families and were members of ethnic minorities. For the comparison site, we pursued a community center program for low income youth, but one where clients did not garden. However, because of the small number of community centers in Waukesha and Kenosha and the pervasiveness of Community Gardens, we failed to find a program where a large number of children did not garden. Thus we selected a Milwaukee community center program-Holton Youth daycamp-as a comparison site for both youth gardens. Individual traits. We matched the intervention and comparison groups on the basis of ethnic backgrounds (because of the cultural salience of gardening), and age and gender (because of the age and gender variation in daily exercise, diet and social factors). Comparison group for pantry gardeners. Aggregate traits.The volunteers who participated in the Kenosha Field of Dreams garden did not cultivate vegetables for their own use, but donated their time and produce to food pantries and soup kitchens. These volunteers came from all social classes and ethnic backgrounds. We pursued a Kenosha program where volunteers worked to help the hungry. We selected the Shalom Center soup kitchen staff as the comparison site, screening out those volunteers who also participated in gardening programs. Individual traits. As with the previous program categories, we matched theYouth gardeners intervention and comparison groups on the basis of ethnic backgroundsbeing interviewed by (because of the cultural salience of gardening), and age and gender (because ofeducator the age and gender variation in daily exercise and social factors).
  • 27. Limitations. The posttest only model with nonequivalent groups has a built-in weakness. Without pretests, theintervention and comparison groups might have been different in relevant ways from the start Thusany variation noted in posttests may simply reflect these initial differences in the groups,rather than effects of the program (Clark, 1976). For example, an evaluatorusing this model to assess a math tutoring program might assume that theintervention was unsuccessful if the comparison group scored higher duringposttests. However, without pretests there would be no way of knowing ifmembers of the comparison group did not begin with superior math skills.This problem is less pronounced in the Community Gardens evaluation. Welearned through qualitative and quantitative findings that gardeners enteredthe program for a wide variety of reasons, usually involving quality of lifeissues (see Table 5.1 later in this report). According to Schuerman (1983), thepurpose of pretests is to determine if both groups were "equally in need ofservices" (1983:69). But there was no simple pattern of needs that drewclients to this program, such as delinquencv, alcohol dependencV, orilliteracy. The project was not designed to treat known and measurabledeficiencies in the gardeners, In this case, initial group differences may beless a problem than in evaluations of programs to correct identifieddeficiencies. But while we did attempt to match the intervention andcomparison groups on variables we knew to be salient, and added a strongqualitative component to increase validity (Riecken and Boruch, 1974), we stillmust recognize that the groups may have had initial differences in importantunidentified ways.Quantative data gathering procedures. Members of the evaluation team conducted the posttest survey with 123gardeners and 123 matched comparison group participants. For rental andpantry gardens, we randomly selected the gardeners from client lists (except inthe case of the county grounds garden, where we randomly selected thegardeners from plot numbers). For youth gardens, we randomly selected theclients from program meetings during high participation times (selecting onlychildren over the age of nine, to insure comprehension of the instrument). Weinterviewed 50 clients from the Milwaukee county grounds garden, 53 fromthis gardens comparison group, 12 to 14 clients from each other garden, and11 to 12 participants from these gardens comparison groups. See Table 2.2for respondent characteristics. We found no statistically significant differencesbetween intervention and comparison groups in ethnic background, agecategories, and sex.
  • 28. The posttest instrument asked all intervention and comparison participantsquestions their social and communitV activities in the previous four months,and about their health habits-particularIy diet and exercise. We asked thegardeners to rate the importance of the program to them personalIy, to assessthe food money they saved because of gardening, to provide reasons forparticipating in the program, and to respond to a host of garden-specificquestions.
  • 29. Quantitative data analysis.Univariate analysis primarily included frequencies and means, and crosstabulations. Bivariateanalyses primarily included chi squares and tests of significance.Evaluation staff and timelinesThe evaluation team was made up of an urban anthropologist/principalinvestigator, seven multi-cultural interviewers, a statistician, and a dataspecialist.The evaluation team completed the qualitative component of the studyduring July and August of 1997. The youth posttests of the intervention andcomparison groups were conducted between mid August and September1997, when the youth gardening programs were ending. The adult posttestsof the intervention and comparison groups were conducted between midSeptember and mid October 1997, when the adult gardening programs wereending. The data were analyzed and the report was written bV lateDecember 1997.SummaryThe Community Gardens evaluation design included a qualitative and aquantitative componentThe qualitative component included document reviews of annual reports andprogram promotional materials, participant observation at each of the sevengarden sites targeted for evaluation, and 47 semi-structured interviews withprogram stakeholders (including gardeners, staff, volunteers, horticulturaleducators, collaborators, and parents of youth gardeners).The quantitative component included a posttest survey with 123 randomly-selected gardeners and 123 matched comparison group participants.Because the evaluation team was contracted after the gardening season wasalready in progress, we were not able to develop an experimental or quasi-experimental design-both which require pretests of intervention andcomparison group participants before program activities begin. We opted forthe next best choice and developed a posttest only design with program andnon-equivalent comparison groups. We selected the comparisonaggregates and individuals within these aggregates based on the salientprocesses and traits we found among program clients, while completing ourqualitative component
  • 30. However, the posttest-only model has a built-in weakness. Without pretests,the intervention and comparison groups could have been different inrelevant ways from the start, thus variations noted in posttests may simplyreflect initial differences in groups rather than effects of the program. Thisproblem may be less pronounced in the Community Gardens evaluationbecause gardeners did not enter the program with a clear pattern of need.Regardless, we strengthened the overall design bV including multiplemethods, multiple samples, multiple data sources with triangulation, multiplemeasures, and multiple analyses in the overall evaluation plan.The findings that appear in the following chapters reflect these variedresearch strategies, and will demonstrate some unintended, as well as someintended outcomes for Community Gardens.
  • 31. Chapter Three: Overview ofEvaluation FindingsThis chapter will provide an overview of evaluation findings. We willsummarize the program importance ratings given bV CommunitV Gardensclients, and provide a preview of the most significant outcome findings.Program importance RatingsMembers of the evaluation team asked Community Gardens clients to ratethe program. SpecificalIy, we asked gardeners the following question: "on ascale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the highest), how important is the gardenprogram to you?" Overall, clients gave the program a very high mean ratingof 8.62. Adult gardeners, who usualIV received program benefits for a fullseason, gave higher ratings (mean of 8.98) than the youth gardeners, whousualIy participated in the program for 4 to 18 weeks (mean of 8.00). Whenwe compared the importance ratings given by European Americans to thosegiven by the people of color (Asian American, Latino, and African Americanclients), we found that the ratings were nearIy identical for both groups(mean of 8.59 and 8.65 respectiveIy). See Table 3.1.
  • 32. To view ratings for specific gardens, see Appendix APreview of most significant outcomefindingsThe evaluation team gathered quantitaitive and qualitative data on a widevariety of topics ranging from healthy habits to transmission of heritage tocommunity-building practices.Quantitative findings.When we compared survey responses of the intervention group(gardeners) to the comparison group participants, the results clearlysuggested positive outcomes for the program clients. The following is asummary of statistically significant findings (and most were highlysignificant at the level of <0.001). • Gardeners reported consuming more helpings of vitaminrich vegetables in the previous 24 hours than comparison participants. • Gardeners reported engaging in more physical exercise in the previous week than comparison participants.
  • 33. When asked about behaviors in the previous four months… • Gardeners indicated they had eaten a balanced diet much more often that comparison participants. • Gardeners indicated they had shared food with others more often than comparison participants; • Gardeners indicated they had spent more time with their families than comparison participants; • Gardeners indicated they had made improvements in their neighborhoods more often than comparison participants; • Gardeners indicated they had felt more in charge of their lives than comparison participants; and • Gardeners indicated they learned more about gardening than comparison participants.Qualitative findings.Qualitative data help to attribute quantitative findingsto actual program activities (as opposed to some unknown intervening orconfounding factors that may account for group differences). wherever wemeasured indicators quantitatively, we also gathered data on these indicatorsthrough qualitative strategies (e.g., interviews of program clients andstakeholders, participant observation, review of program documents). inaddition to strengthening the quantitative findings, qualitative data oftenyielded unexpected program outcomes and impacts (see examples below).
  • 34. The following is a summary of the more salient qualitative findings. • Many gardeners described how they used program resources to transmit their cultural heritages to a younger generation; • Many gardeners participated in the program for the sheer "fun" of watching plants grow and improving their gardening skills; • Many gardeners used the program as a means to convene with nature; • Some gardeners described how their plots had become focal points for communitV-builcling activities; • Some gardeners gave away their produce as a means to promote social justice; • Some gardeners described how the program activities had helped The next three chapters will present detailed findings on each of these topics. Chapter Four will discuss the material deliverables of gardening, Chapter Five will summarize the meanings that clients ascribe to the program, and Chapter Six outlines the social and psychosocial value of CommunitV Gardens activities. Findings on minor themes or those specific to program management can be found in Appendix A.Boys watering marigoldstogether in their neighborhoodgarden.
  • 35. Chapter Four: The materialdeliverables of gardeningThis chapter will summarize findings on the material benefits provided bVthe CommunitV Gardens program. Two categories of material deliverablesinclude (1) the health benefits of gardening (nutrition and exercise), and (2)the money clients saved on food.Earlier studies and literature on urban greening have highlighted the materialadvantages of gardening. For example, studies done in LOS Angeles,Philadelphia, and New JerseV found that urban gardeners increased theirvegetable consumption and saved moneV in food purchases as a result oftheir participation in horticultural programs (Ashman et al, 1993; Blair et al,1991; Patel, 1991). Taylor (1990) has argued that gardening is excellentoutdoor exercise, and that participants may bum more calories per hourgrowing vegetables than they would doing aerobics.Health benefits of gardeningOur evaluation findings demonstrate that Community Gardens clientsmaintained nutritious diets and gained outdoor exercise while participating inthe horticultural program. These findings were significantIy stronger forCommunitV Gardens clients than they were for comparison groupparticipants. in terms of diet, the gardeners reported consuming over twice thevitamin-rich vegetable helpings than the comparison participants.Program clients claimed they ate a mean of 11.19 vegetable helpings (one-half cup each) during the previous 24 hours, while the comparisonparticipants reported eating 4.55 vegetable helpings in the same
  • 36. period. 8 Table 4.1 shows the reported consumption of each vegetable listedin the survey. 8 The vegetable consumption for both the gardeners and the comparison participants may havebeen affected by the time of year of the interviews. The interviews of adult participants were conductedbetween September 15 and October 15, and both groups reportedly eaten more of the vegetables thatreached their peak during this Period--particularly tomatoes and peppers. The exception was the largenumber of helpings of lettuce reported eaten by both groups. When we compared the helpings oftomatoes and peppers claimed by the adult participants with those claimed by the youth participants,who were interviewed between August 15 and September 15, we see strong differences in reporting.The mean helpings of tomatoes claimed by youth gardeners is .69 (in contrast to 2.61 claimed by adultgardeners), and .39 for the comparison youth (in contrast to.73 by comparison adults); and the meanhelpings of peppers claimed by youth gardeners is .54 (in contrast to 1.62 claimed by adult gardeners),and .26 for the comparison youth (in contrast to .49 claimed by the comparison adults).
  • 37. A child showing off the "Fruit Face" she created in youth gardening program.We also asked the groups if they maintained balanced diets. Specifically, weasked all evaluation participants to agree or disagree with the statement, "inthe past four months, I have eaten a balanced diet most days from the foodpyramid (which includes breads/cereals, fruit/vegetables, meat/fish/beans, anddair-y products." Gardeners were significantly more likely to agree. See Table4.2
  • 38. We also questioned the rental gardeners (the largest clientele group) aboutorganic food. When we asked these clients if theV ate organicalIy grown food,nearly three-quarters said they did. When we asked if they grew their foodorganicalIy (without using chemical fertilizers or unnatural chemicalpesticides), over half said "Yes." When we asked them if they rented theirplots from an organic-practices-only site, few said they did. Most who said"no," either claimed lack of knowledge of the sites or said they alreadygardened organicalIy and did not want to make a transition. See Table 4.3.
  • 39. in terms of exercise, gardeners again fared better than their comparisoncounterparts. The evaluation team asked all participants to report thenumber of hours they had spent in the last week doing various types ofactivities-from housework to gardening to playing basketball. Overall,gardeners reported nearly twice the number of hours engaged in exercisethan members of the comparison groups. See Table 4.4. (See Appendix B fora breakdown of specific activities.)We also compared the two groups on actual calories expended duringweekly activity hours, using calorie tables from the Complete Food andNutrition Guide (A.D.A., 1996), Compendium of Physical Activities (A.U.M.,1996), and The Fitness Partner Connection (Printus, 1995-1997). Gardenersexpended twice number of calories on their reported activities than theircomparison counterparts. See Table 4.5. (See Appendix B for a listing ofcalories expended per hour of each activity, based on individual body weightof 150 pounds.)
  • 40. A young girl hoeingweeds out of herfamilys garden. However, we learned by comparing the data for both intervention and comparison groups that the gardeners may have been more active generalIy, and that not all the activities they reported were related to gardening (see Appendix B for original activity hours). We then wanted to know if the gardening hours alone would have made the intervention groups weekly
  • 41. activity level significantly higher than their comparison counterparts. We then hypothesized that both groups had reported the same number of exercise hours in every activity category except gardening, and we computed the difference between the two groups, The results were still statistically significant 9. In addition to being positive outcomes for the program, nutrition and exercise were also cited as strong motivators for program involvement When we asked all clients the reasons why they participated in the Community Gardens program, the "chance to get fresher food with more flavor" was the response selected second most often (68 percent) 10. The response, "the exercise," was selected third most often (57 percent). See Table 4.6. 9 This was done by averaging the number of hours of each weekly activity forall participants. The total number of hours for all activities, except gardening, was2,937. This number was divided in two to get an equal number for both groups, or1,468.5 hours each. To this number was added 523 hours of gardening for thegardeners, and 53 hours of gardening for the comparison participants, or a meanof 16.19 weekly hours for gardeners (n - 123) and 12.37 weekly hours for thecomparison group members (n=123). If we assume a constant standard deviationof 11.427 (the standard deviation for the entire sample of 246 people for allactivities other than gardening), we were able to do a z-test comparing the twomeans--z=(16.19-12.37)/sqrt(11.427112/l23)-2.62. This value is significant atO.004 fora one-sided alternative (hypothesis is gardeners are more active than nongardeners). 10 Adult clients selected this response 80 percent of the time, and the proportion rose to 82percent when we eliminated the clients from the Kenosha pantry garden from the adult sample (pantrygarden volunteers did not consume their own vegetables, thus would not be likely to select thisresponse).
  • 42. The health benefits of gardening were also frequently mentioned during thequalitative interviews with program clients and other stakeholders. in thefollowing examples, two clients from the Milwaukee rental garden (countygrounds) and a stakeholder from the Kenosha pantry garden discuss thenutritional quality of the fresh vegetables they grow in the gardens.Children harvesting fresh beans fromtheir neighborhood garden.
  • 43. Stakeholders from the youth gardens also discussed how the children hadincreased their nutrition awareness since participating in the program. In thefollowing examples, parents of youth clients from Kenosha and Waukeshadiscuss program effects on their young. interviewees also mentioned the value of the outdoor exercise they gained from gardening. In the following examples, clients from the Waukesha, Milwaukee, and Kenosha rental gardens comment on the phVsical activity involved in gardening.
  • 44. The following section will present data on the ways the program helps clientfood budgets.The money clients saved on foodMost clients also gleaned modest economic benefits from the CommunityGardens program. During interviews, some clients from all gardens mentionedthe way the program had eased their food budgets. When we asked allgardeners if they or family members stored any of the vegetables they grew, 86percent of the adult clients and 31 percent of the youth clients said they did(table not shown). We also asked clients to estimate the dollars they saved onfood. When asked how much money they thought their families had saved from growing vegetables in the Community Gardens this year, over half (56percent) said they had saved more than $50 (for a mean savings of $131.90overalD. (The table for the entire sample is not shown.)Of all groups, the rental gardeners reported saving the most money. Nearlyhalf (46 percent) said they saved between $101 and S300 (for a meansavings of $167.95 this year). See Table 4.7.
  • 45. The clients who discussed the economic benefits of the program most oftenwere the Asian American gardeners. Members of the evaluation team foundlarge lineages and clans of Hmongs where members had designated roles.some members worked outside the home, some cared for the children andthe home, and others manned the gardens. The gardeners shared theirvegetables with the group, and sometimes sold the surplus on the farmersmarkets. Below, several Asian clients discuss their appreciation of theprogram.
  • 46. stakeholders from the Kenosha Field Of Dreams project also discussed theeconomic value of the program. Below, two invested participants describethe money that local food pantries saved because of vegetable donationsfrom the garden. Summary Evaluation findings demonstrated that the Community Gardens program was valued bV clients for the material deliverables gained from activities. Gardeners generally consumed more vitamin-rich vegetables, ate a more balanced diet and expended more calories in exercise than members of the comparison groups. Program clients and stakeholders also reported saving money on food because of their participation in Community Gardens. The economic benefits were expressed most often by the Asian gardeners at the Milwaukee county grounds and stakeholders in the Kenosha pantry garden. The following chapters will present data on additional program effects, including the meanings that gardeners ascribe to the program, and the social impacts of gardening.
  • 47. Chapter Five: Gardening andMeaningsThis chapter will summarize findings on the meanings that clients ascribe tothe Community Gardens program. The three categories of meaning thatemerged from the data are: (2) gardening as a strategy to transmit culturalheritage, (2) gardening as an enjoyable practice, and (3) gardening as a viraV toconvene with the natural environment in some cases, findings suggest thatthese meanings may have been more important to gardeners than thematerial delive rabies described in the previous chapter The literature on gardening also suggests the value that gardeners attach tohorticultural traditions. PF Barlett (1993) maintained that agrarian values are frequently in conflict with thosein the industrial world, and that part-time cultivation may be one way to maintain the heritage and pass it onto the next generation. While Barletts research focused on European American and African American smallfarmers in the South, a number of writers have discussed the oppression that the Hmong population hasendured in order to preserve traditions associated with horticulture. McInnis et al (1990) and Trueba et al(1990) describe how Hmong clans fled from country to countrywhen local political forces demanded they engage in cash cropping or other nonagrarian economic pursuits.In the case of the Hmong population, the free practice of horticulture alwaysmeant more than access to ethnic foods. Their herbalist healing traditions,their animist religious practices, and their open air market economies alldepended on a horticultural tradition. Hmong family gardeners
  • 48. Gardening as a strategy to transmit culturalheritageThe cultural value of gardening emerged as the leading program strength in the qualitative data.Again and again, clients described how Community Gardens had made it possible forstakeholders to transmit practices from their cultural heritages to succeeding generations. Thiswas described by members of all the ethnic groups we interviewed.Adult gardenersAmong adult gardeners, the cultural factors cited in gardening were particularIV strong. Whenmembers of the evaluation team asked gardeners the reasons theV participated in the program,the response, "to keep my cultural traditions," was selected third most frequentIV (60 percent ofthe time), among 10 possible choices. In addition, the responses "the chance to teach othersgardening" was selected 31 percent of the time, and "good chance to spent time with my family"was selected 49 percent of the time (see Table 5.1).
  • 49. However, when we crosstabulated the responses to the reasons clientsparticipated in the program with the ratings given on the personalimportance of the program, the heritage transmission variables becamemore salient As seen in Table 5.2, adult clients who selected the responses"to keep mv cultural traditions," "the chance to teach others gardening," and"good chance to spend time with mV familV" as reasons for participationwere more likeIV to give the program the top rating in personal importancethan those who selected anV other reasons for participation. Over two thirdsof those who selected each of the transmission of heritage variables gave theprogram a "10." In order to understand how Community Gardens helped clients to pass on their heritage, we looked at the interview data. In general, adult clients discussed the ways that program activities helped them both reminisce about a less complex way of life, and at the same time, transmit the skills and the values of this way of life to a younger generation. Some suggested that gardening had made their family traditions more meaningful.
  • 50. in the following examples from the Milwaukee rental gardens, clients describe the cultural value of participating in the Community Gardens program. The first quotation below is from an African American, the second from a Hmong gardener, and the last is from a European American.Asparagus beans, apopular Asian vegetable,growing on a teepee. In the following examples, clients discuss more about bringing generations together to share a horticultural heritage. The first quotation is from a Waukesha gardener, the second from a Milwaukee gardener with a disabled son, and the third is from a Kenosha gardener-all European American.
  • 51. Clients also discuss the ways that members of different cultures got togetherand shared ideas about food and recipes in the Community Gardens. Thefirst quotation below is from an African American gardener, and the secondis from a Latino-both from the Milwaukee county grounds site.
  • 52. in the final example, a Milwaukee European American client describes the waythat family traditions can become more meaningful through gardening.Youth GardenersThe cultural value of gardening did not emerge as a salient factor for youth inthe quantitative data, possibly because children at this age did not understandsome of the terms associated with heritage. Among the 26 childreninterviewed, not one said they participated in the program "to keep my culturaltraditions." only 19 percent said they participated to "teach other aboutgardening," and only 12 percent said it was a "good chance to spend time withmy family." (The table is not shown.)However, when we looked at the relationship between the reasons they gavefor involvement and the ratings they gave the program, we see that four of five(80 percent) who said they participate to "teach others about gardening" ratedthe personal importance of the program at 10 (the highest rating). However,these numbers are too small to make any kind of generalization. See Table5.3.
  • 53. The qualitative data from the childrens parents, teachers, and program staffdid suggest that at least some of the youth were interested in the culturalaspects of gardening.In the following examples, two adult stakeholders from the Waukesha youthgardens describe gardening choices of the Latino youth, and an adultstakeholder from the Kenosha youth gardens discusses the potential for thetransmission of African American traditions through the program.
  • 54. In the next section, we discuss a topic that relates closely to theintergenerational heritage of gardening-that is the value of the gardeningpractice itself.Gardening as an enjoyable practiceFindings from the qualitative and the quantitative data indicated that programclients enjoyed the actual act of gardening and the information they gleanedfrom the practice. Approximately three-quarters of all adult and youth clientssaid they participated in the Community Gardens program "for the fun," andnearly half of the adults and over three-quarters of the youth said they were 11involved "to learn skills". See Table 5.4.11 Findings for both youth and adult gardeners suggested that they learned significantly moreabout gardening in the past four months than members of their comparison groups. The meansfor youth were: gardeners 3.15, comparison groups 1.57; the means for adults were: gardeners2.63, comparison groups 1.57 (scale: 0 = strongly disagree, I = disagree, 2 = not sure, 3 -agree, 4 = strongly agree).
  • 55. We needed to understand how clients considered gardening "fun." Duringqualitative interviews, gardeners often told us how much they simply enjoyedwatching their vegetables grow. Below, clients from the Kenosha rental andpantry gardens, and the Milwaukee start-up garden comment on thisexperience.
  • 56. Stakeholders from the youth gardens stressed both the enjoyment ofgardening and the learning involved. Below, a parent and a teacher fromthe Waukesha youth gardens discuss their observations of clients.When members of the evaluation team asked the youth gardeners if theygardening at home, 85 percent said they did. When we asked them if theyfelt they were "doing a good job" in the gardens, 92percent said yes. Wealso asked those youth clients who had gardens at home if they helped inthese gardens, and every one said they did. See Table 5.5.
  • 57. While clients ascribed considerable value to gardening heritages andgardening practices, findings also indicated that gardeners had a strongappreciation for the programs natural settings.Gardening as a way to convene with thenatural environmentBoth the quantitative and the qualitative findings demonstrated thatprogram clients valued the time they spent in the gardens naturalsurroundings. Adult and youth gardeners alike reported significantly moreattention to the environment during the high cultivation months than thecomparison participants. In all, Community Gardens clients reported learningmore about the environment paying more attention to nature, and caringmore about the environment than their nongardening counterparts. SeeTables 5.6 and 5.7.
  • 58. During qualitative interviews, gardeners and program stakeholders expressedappreciation for the natural surroundings of the gardens. in the followingexamples, three Milwaukee clients discuss their fascination with the wildlife onthe County grounds, and a Waukesha youth teacher talks about her studentsnew found interest in bugs and thistles. Child showing the worm he found in the garden
  • 59. SummaryEvaluation findings demonstrated that the Community Gardens program wasvalued by clients for more than just the material deliverables gained fromactivities. Many gardeners ascribed their own meanings to the program.Some clients strongly appreciated the way the program empowered them topass on horticultural heritages, many cited the actual "fun" involved ingardening, and others valued the opportunity to spend time in naturalsurroundings.
  • 60. Children harvesting vegetables from their neighborhoodgarden to take home.
  • 61. Social anal pChapter Six: Social andPsychological BenefitsThis chapter will summarize findings on the social and psychosocial benefitsthat clients derive from Community Gardens. The three categories of socialand psychological value that emerged from the data are: (1) gardening as astrategy in building communities, (2) gardening as a way to promote socialjustice, and (3) gardening as a strategy for building personal characterLiterature also supports gardening as a way to build community. Relf (1992)reviews research that demonstrates ways that greening activities enhancepositive images for neighborhoods and create opportunities for people towork together Lewis (1991) shows how community gardens foster a sense ofneighborliness among residents.Gardening as a strategy in buildingcommunitiesDuring interviews, Community Gardens clients and other stakeholders oftendiscussed the ways that the program had helped build local communities.Members of the evaluation team asked interviewees general questions aboutforging new fellowships and improving local neighborhoods throughCommunity Gardens activities. The findings were mixed on whether theprogram helped people gain new friendships. When asked in the surveywhether they had "made more friends than usual" or "learned more aboutdifferent cultures" during the past four months, gardeners were slightly morelikely to agree with the statements than members of the comparison groups(see Table 6.1), but the results were not significant The means forthe client responses fell between "not sure (2)" and "agree 0." However, whenwe asked clients their reasons for participating in Community Gardens,
  • 62. 51 percent selected the option, "get to meet other people in the gardens,"and 61 percent of this group gave the program the highest rating of 10.In order to understand more about the programs role in forging fellowship, welooked at the qualitative data. Here we see that clients and stakeholders haddifferent experiences gardening with their neighbors. in the quotations below,stakeholders from the Kenosha Youth garden. Milwaukee rental garden, andMilwaukee start-up garden comment on the positive fellowship-building forgedbV public gardening.
  • 63. on the other hand, problems can develop when gardeners share common grounds. Two program staff and a Milwaukee rental gardener discuss the varying standards and motivations clients have concerning gardening, and complaints they hear about clients who lack respect for others property.On the issue of improving local neighborhoods, the findings wereconsiderably less ambiguous. During interviews, gardeners and stakeholdersdescribed how some gardening areas had become focal points in theirneighborhoods. As focal points or "hubs," they often drew the support oflocal groups-both informal and formal. in the following quotations,stakeholders from the Kenosha youth and Pantry gardens, and the WaukeshaYouth garden comment on the community-building function of theseneighborhood hubs.
  • 64. By participating in and supporting these local hubs, gardeners may have feltthey Played roles in bettering their neighborhoods. When asked if they had,made some improvements in (the] neighborhood" during the high gardeningmonths, Community Gardens clients concurred significantly more often thancomparison group participants. See Table 5.2.Children watering plants together in their Community Garden.
  • 65. But perhaps equally important in improving neighborhoods were the effortsof program stakeholders and gardeners to alleviate community hunger.Gardening to promote social justiceWhen members of the evaluation team asked Community Garden clients ifthey had reasons for participating in the program that were "other" than thereasons listed in the instrument a full 27 percent said they participated "togive away food" (see Table 5.1 in previous chapter). Nearly all the volunteersin the Field of Dreams (Kenosha pantry) effort offered this reason. Whenasked to assess local hunger issues, all 12 Field of Dreams gardeners said theybelieved hunger was a problem in Kenosha, and nearly half said they knewsomeone personally who was suffering from hunger Of those volunteerswho maintained their own gardens, nearly three-quarters said they haddonated vegetables to the hungry in the past, and the same number saidthey expected to donate in the future. See Table 6.3.
  • 66. During the qualitative interviews, Field Of Dreams stakeholders discussed thevalue of this effort In the following quotations, gardeners and staff talk aboutthe way this project has mobilized groups for social justice and at the sametime enhanced community spirit.
  • 67. In the next set of examples, program stakeholders directly involved with the food pantries discuss the value of the vegetable donations from the Field of Dreams garden.But using the gardens for altruistic purposes was not limited to stakeholdersfrom the Kenosha pantry garden. During interviews, many other gardenersdescribed how they regularly donated food to their churches or shared withothers. The quantitative data bears this out When all evaluation participantswere asked if they had "shared food with my friends or neighbors on aregular basis" during the past four months, Community Gardens clients weresignificantly more likely to concur See Table 6.4.
  • 68. Moreover, when we gave the rental gardeners a list of potential resources andasked them to choose the ones they would actually use (if offered), clientswere much more likely to select "food-sharing activities" than any otherpossibility (61 percent selected this option). In addition, when asked if theywould like to leave extra food in a distribution box or give food directly to afood pantry, 62 percent of the gardeners replied "yes." See Table 6.5.Vegetables from the Field of Dreams being loadedand delivered to local food pantries.
  • 69. Much of the Community Gardens social value that program stakeholdersdescribe also had residual effects on the participants sense of self-worth.This will be discussed in the next section.Gardening as a strategy for buildingpersonal characterMany of the gardeners we interviewed described how their efforts had giventhem a sense of personal value and introspection. In the following examples,clients from the Milwaukee and Waukesha rental gardens discuss theirfeelings. A gardener and a staff member from the Milwaukee rental gardens(county grounds) describe how this sense of self-worth is embedded in alarger social context
  • 70. other clients comment on the way that gardening helps to relieve stress. in theBoy Scout following examples, participants from the Milwaukee rental and Kenoshaharvesting beans for pantry gardens discuss the therapeutic value of the program.the poor in Field ofDreams
  • 71. Evaluation findings also suggested that the youth may have been gainingself-esteem from the gardening experience. When we asked the youth ifthey thought they were "doing a good job in the gardens," 92 percent said"yes." Other youth garden stakeholders discussed the ways the program hasincreased the childrens sense of self-worth. in the following examples, aparent of a Kenosha client a Kenosha teacher, and a parent of a Waukeshaclient talk about the pride that many of the children have expressed in theirgardening.SummaryEvaluation findings demonstrated that the Community Gardens program wasvalued by clients for more than just the material deliverables and meaningsgained from activities. Many gardeners found social and psychosocialbenefits through participation in the program. Some clients described howthe gardens had become social hubs in their neighborhoods, drawing thesupport of formal and informal groups. other clients discussed the waysthey used gardening to promote social justice-particularly by donating foodto help alleviate hunger And some clients described how these activitieshad given them a sense of self-sufficiency and personal value.While the past several chapters have highlighted the strengths of the CommunityGardens program, evaluation data also suggested some challenges. ChapterSeven will summarize these findings.
  • 72. Chapter Seven:Future ChallengesThis chapter will present findings on program challenges. The two categoriesof challenges that emerged from the data are (1) retaining necessary landsites for gardening; and (2) developing broad-based management forgardens. For a brief inventory of challenges faced by specific gardens, seeAppendix ARetaining land sites for gardeningAs outlined in Chapter one, many gardens we evaluated experienced a recent problemwith land tenure. The program neither owns land, nor receives formal protection for itsprogram sites through any form of public policy.unlike policy makers in other areas, Wisconsin legislators have never proposed orpassed any laws that permanently set aside land for urbangardens. And program administrators do not have the budgets to purchase andmaintain year-around the large tracts of land required for over 2000 garden plots. TheCommunity Gardens program is left depending ontemporary land donations by private, public, and commercial owners. While someprograms have received consistent public support and have a pool of land donors tocall upon when in need (such as many in Kenosha), others have limited options andare about to lose critical parcels of land.
  • 73. several examples have been highlighted in this reportin Oak Creek (Milwaukee County), the Mitchell garden was forced off itslocation when business interests expressed a desire to build a little leaguefield on the site-a project that never materialized. The Mitchell gardeneventually found another site, but one less desirable in terms of soil qualityand location.In Waukesha, county officials are currently debating various developmentproposals for the land that houses the Waukesha rental and youth gardens.Despite years of campaigning to secure that (very desirable) site, the gardensmay have to look for other lands. This problem is further exacerbated bycurrent lack of a horticultural agent to deal with the political issues.But these examples pale when compared to the challenge that faces theMilwaukee county grounds gardens. The county grounds area had been oneof the most stable land sites of the program-a site which encompasses 1003garden plots. After 25 years on these grounds, the Milwaukee CountyExecutive has proposed selling this land to commercial interests. Theproposal now faces resistance from a nearby suburban group that did notwant to lose their natural surroundings. The group, the Friends ofMenomonee River, convinced the Board to hold a brief moratorium and setup an advisory panel to evaluate other options.While interviewing gardeners in Milwaukee, nearly every person we talked toconveyed concern about the loss of the land and the subsequent fate of theprogram. The following example from an interviewers field notes wastypical of the reception we received while attempting to carry out theevaluation among Milwaukee clients.
  • 74. During other interviews, stakeholders said they failed to understand why themedia and the politicians seemed to gloss over the interests of thegardeners, who had occupied the area for so long. Newspaper articles nevermentioned the gardeners (see below). In the quotations that follow,interviewees discuss this issue and various dimensions of the problem.
  • 75. Nearly every client we interviewed discussed their fear of losing the countygrounds, but we found no evidence that the gardeners were organizing tostop the development Some stakeholders discussed a lack of collectiveaction in other program contexts as well. This was particularly apparent whenwe asked stakeholders to discuss participatory management issues.Developing collective managementfor the gardensMembers of all stakeholder groups we interviewed mentioned the need forbroader participation in the day-to-day management of Community Gardens.First while gardeners roundly praised the help they received from programstaff, some staff described how their Community Gardens responsibilities haveescalated in recent years. A few program managers
  • 76. Nearly every client we interviewed discussed their fear of losing the countygrounds, but we found no evidence that the gardeners were organizing tostop the development Some stakeholders discussed a lack of collectiveaction in other program contexts as well. This was particularly apparent whenwe asked stakeholders to discuss participatory management issues.Developing collective managementfor the gardensMembers of all stakeholder groups we interviewed mentioned the need forbroader participation in the day-to-day management of Community Gardens.First while gardeners roundly praised the help they received from programstaff, some staff described how their Community Gardens responsibilities haveescalated in recent years. A few program managers
  • 77. discussed countless hours they spend locating and developing new gardenlands, and having to nurture relationships with the political and economicforces that donate these lands. Some staff also described the effort theyexpend developing the collaborations necessary to carry out the objectivesof specific programs, such as the pantry and youth gardens. Beyond thisthese staff still tried to keep up with the day-to-day work of teachinggardening skills, organizing program activities, and maintaining the gardens.The latter task seemed to be taking up more time than necessary (althoughthis did not emerge as an issue in all counties). A few staff membersexpressed concerns that they were hired as horticulturalists and horticulturaleducators, but ended up spending a disproportionate amount of timepicking up trash, settling disputes among gardeners, and cleaning weeds-thison top of their added roles in the political arenas. Some also said thatefforts to recruit volunteers for garden maintenance have been relativelyunsuccessful.As a response to these concerns, the evaluation team asked rental gardenerswhat contributions they would be willing to make to the day-to-daymanagement of the gardens. Of the tasks we listed, over three-quarters ofthe clients said they would be willing to till their own plots (if they couldstart gardening anytime they wanted). Nearly two-thirds said they wouldpick up the trash, and nearly half said they would fill the water barrels, cutthe grass, open and close gates, or clean weeds from alley ways. See Table7.1.
  • 78. The above findings were inconsistent with some staff reports that they couldnot recruit volunteers for garden maintenance. A reason for the disparitymight be that the survey respondents overstated their willingness to helpwith the tasks, or the findings may mean that a sizeable proportion of thegardeners would assume maintenance responsibilities, if these tasks simplybecame part of the program expectations.Our findings suggested a second issue relating to more participatorymanagement A number of interviewees recommended that CommunityGardens try to involve a wider range of players in the work of foodproduction-particularly those individuals that received indirect benefits fromthe program. Some Field Of Dreams stakeholders hoped that pantry clientswould become more active in growing and distributing food, and someyouth garden stakeholders (including parents) hoped to find a role for themothers and fathers of youth clients in the program. See the examplesbelow.
  • 79. During qualitative interviews, we asked the parents of youth gardeners ifthey wanted to become more active in the program. Although we onlyinterviewed four parents, all said they would like to be more involved.(Unfortunately we collected no data on the food pantry clients. Most of thefindings do suggest that a broader base of participation in CommunityGardens can be developed, and that their contributions may free up somestaff time to deal with issues in the external environmentSummaryEvaluation findings indicated two categories of future challenges forCommunity Gardens. First the project neither owns any land, nor receivesprotection for its program sites through any form of public policy, in thenear future, Community Gardens may lose several gardening areas that areslated for development-most notably the Milwaukee county grounds thatcurrently houses 1003 garden plots. Nearly every gardener we interviewed inMilwaukee expressed concerns about losing this site.Second, members of all stakeholder groups we interviewed said the programneeded to involve gardeners and other stakeholders in the day-to-daymanagement of the gardens. Findings indicated that staff may beoverburdened with the number of roles they play-particularly theircollaborative and negotiating efforts with external organizations-and coulduse help with garden maintenance tasks. Findings also suggested that thosegroups who received indirect benefits of the program should be encouragedto become active in some facet of the program.
  • 80. Child harvesting a cucumber that he grew Inhis local youth garden.A scarecrow decoratesthis rental garden andkeeps birds away too.
  • 81. Chapter Eight: Summaryand RecommendationsThis chapter will summarize the evaluation design and findings, and presentrecommendations to improve program viability.Evaluation summary Associates conducted an evaluation of Community Gardens-a programadministered by the University of Wisconsins Cooperative Extension.Community Gardens sponsors programs in Milwaukee, Waukesha, andKenosha Counties. The gardening sites sampled for this evaluation include (1)four rental gardens (Milwaukee county grounds, Milwaukee Mitchell gardens[a "start-up" effort], Waukesha Northview site, and Kenosha Northside garden);(2) two youth gardens Waukesha La Casa/Extension collaborative, and KenoshaLincoln/Extension collaborative); and (3) one garden that serves the needs offood pantry clientele (Kenosha Field of Dreams).Evaluation DesignThe Community Gardens evaluation design included a qualitative and aquantitative component.The qualitative component included document reviews of annual reports andprogram promotional materials, participant observation at each of the sevengarden sites targeted for evaluation, and 47 semi-structured interviews withprogram stakeholders (including gardeners, staff, volunteers, horticulturaleducators, collaborators, and parents of youth gardeners).
  • 82. The quantitative component included a posttest survey with 123 randomlyselected gardeners and 123 matched comparison group participants.Because the evaluation team was contracted after the gardening season wasalready in progress, we were not able to develop an experimental or quasiexperimental design-both which require pretests of intervention andcomparison group participants before program activities begin. With limitedoptions, we developed a posttest only design with program and nonequivalent comparison groups. We selected the comparison groups andindividuals within these groups based on the salient processes and traits wefound among program clients, while completing our qualitative research.However, the posttest-only model has a built-in weakness. Without pretests,the intervention and comparison groups could have been different inrelevant ways from the start, thus variations noted in posttests may simplyreflect initial differences in groups rather than effects of the program. Thisproblem may be less pronounced in the Community Gardens evaluationbecause gardeners did not enter the program with a clear pattern of need.Regardless, we strengthened the overall design bV including multiplemethods, multiple samples, multiple data sources with triangulation, multiplemeasures, and multiple analyses in the overall evaluation plan.Key Evaluation FindingsEvaluation results were very positive for Community Gardens. When asked torate the personal importance of the program on a scale of 1 to 10, clientsgave it a mean rating of nearly 9 (8.62 overall, and 8.98 for adult gardeners).Material deliverables. Findings demonstrated that the program was valuedby clients for the material deliverables gained from activities. Gardenersconsumed significantly more vitamin-rich vegetables than their comparisoncounterparts, ate a more balanced diet, and expended significantly morecalories in exercise than members of the comparison groups. Programclients also reported saving money on food because of their participation inCommunity Gardens. The economic benefits were expressed most often byHmong gardeners at the Milwaukee county grounds and stakeholders fromthe Kenosha pantry garden.
  • 83. Meanings ascribed to program. Evaluation findings demonstrated thatCommunity Gardens was valued by clients for more than just the materialdeliverables. Many gardeners appreciated the way the program empoweredthem to pass on horticultural heritages. Adult gardeners who answered,"keep my cultural traditions," as a reason for participating in the programwere more likely to give Community Gardens a 10 rating in personalimportance than any other group. Other gardeners cited the actual "fun,involved in gardening (the top reason given for participating in the program,overall). Others said they valued the opportunity to spend time in naturalsurroundings. Adult and youth clients reported significantly more attentionto the environment during the high cultivation months than the comparisonparticipants.Social and psychosocial benefits. many gardeners derived social andpsychosocial benefits from program activities. Some clients described howthe gardens had become social hubs in their neighborhoods, drawing thesupport of formal and informal groups. When asked if they had "made someimprovements in [the] neighborhood" during the previous four months,Community Gardens clients concurred significantly more often than theircomparison counterparts. other clients discussed the ways they had usedgardening to promote social justice-particularly by donating food to helpalleviate hunger Gardeners reported sharing food with others during theprevious four months significantly more often than members of thecomparison groups. Moreover, some clients described how these specificactivities had given them a sense of self-sufficiency and personal value.Future challenges. Findings suggested two categories of future challengesfor Community Gardens. First, the project neither owns any land, norreceives protection for its program sites through any form of public policy.in the near future, Community Gardens may lose several gardening areas thatare slated for development-most notably the Milwaukee county grounds thatcurrently houses 4003 garden plots. Second, members of all stakeholdergroups we interviewed said the program needed to involve gardeners andother non-staff stakeholders in the daily management of the gardens.Findings indicated that staff may be overburdened with the number of rolesthey play, and could use help with garden maintenance tasks. Findings alsosuggested that those groups who received indirect benefits of the programshould be encouraged to become active in some facet of the program. (Abrief summary of challenges facing specific gardens appears in Appendix A)
  • 84. RecommendationsBecause of the strength of this program assessment the evaluation team ismaking only one comprehensive recommendation for the generalCommunity Gardens project This team recommends that program staffinitiate a community organizing effort among gardeners to address themajor challenges facing the program.GoalsDepending upon the needs of specific programs and areas, a communityorganizing effort could involve any of the following strategies: (1) organizingclients to advocate for their land parcels, (2) organizing clients to assist in theday-to-day management of the gardens, and (3) organizing clients to involvenew stakeholders.1. Organizing clients to advocate for their land parcels. in the Milwaukeeprograms (and perhaps Waukesha), loss of access to public lands istantamount to loss of program funds-but the voices of the gardeners havebeen silent Newspaper articles that describe proposals to develop specificland sites do not even include the gardeners in their lists of groups thatmake use of the sites. In social programs, staff typically organize clientswhen funds are threatened. Clients may then choose to hold peacefuldemonstrations, give testimony on the importance of services, write lettersto policy-makers, give their stories to the media, or join advocacycommittees. With proper counseling, client groups can advocate for theirinterests without risking the necessary political and collaborative relationshipsthat program managers must maintain with the external environment, or riskviolating any anti-lobbying rules of the University.In addition to advocating for their current land parcels, clients mightconsider forming committees to seek new garden sites. For example, clientscould form collaboratives with schools and churches that have available landparcels on their grounds. A Community Gardens program might meet allgroups collective goals of promoting fellowship, education, social justice, andcooperative activity.
  • 85. 2. organizing clients to assist In the day-to-day management of the gardens.Program managers need to nurture collaborative relationships tokeep the programs viable. Program teachers need to instruct clients onhorticultural techniques. Both groups currently spend a great deal of their timeresponding to individual client complaints, and maintaining the gardens(weeding alley ways, opening and closing gates, etc.). To compound the problem,some of these programs are seriously understaffed. in their survey responses, rentalgardeners indicated a willingness to perform specific tasks,such as tilling their own plots and picking up trash. we recommend that staff invitegardeners to an assembly, show them the survey results, ask for their further inputthen collectively map out a plan where clients are empowered to play stronger roles indaily garden management3. Organizing clients to Involve new stakeholders. Many clients,collaborators, and volunteers asked why certain categories of stakeholders were notactive in the program. In particular, interviewees mentioned clients of the food pantriesand parents of the low-income youth gardeners. Clearly working people at the povertyline have little time for extra activities,particularly if they also are parents. Nevertheless, a collective effort to invite theparticipation and input of these groups would be desirable. in the process, clients maybe able to identify other potential collaborators.StrategiesWe recommend that program personnel consider planning a series of retreats duringthe 1998 off-season to address these topics. Because of the political sensitivity ofadvocacy work, staff might consider contracting withan outside consulting firm with experience in community organizing12. Theseconsultants have knowledge of strategies aimed more at building consensus thanspurring conflictThe evaluation team recognizes that some of the above-listed activities have alreadybeen tried at specific sites, with little success. However, Community Gardens currentlyhas a natural organizing "peg," which is the potential loss12 In Milwaukee, the Non Profit Centers School for Leaders provides this service,as does the private consultant, Roberta Harris.
  • 86. of the lands that house three-quarters of the programs gardening plots. Byfocusing all issues on program sustainability, these clients (that gave theprogram a personal importance rating of nearly 9 on a 10 point scale) willunderstand where their vested interests lie.
  • 87. BibliographyAshman, L (1993). Seeds of change: Strategies for food security in the inner city,American Community Gardening Association, Multilogue Newsletter 12(3):1.Barlett, PF (1993). American Dreams, Rural Realities: Family Farms in Crisis. Chapel Hill:University of North Carolina Press.Blair, D. (1991). A dietary social and economic evaluation of the Philadelphia UrbanGardening Project Journal Of Nutrition Education 23(4): 161-167.Clark, LP (1976). Designs for Evaluating Social Programs. New York: Policy StudiesAssociates.Cook, T.D. (1985) Postpositivist critical multiplism. In R.L. Shotland and M.M. Mark (eds.)Social Science and Social Policy. Beverly Hills: Sage.Cook, T.D. and Campbell, D.T. (1979). Quasi-Experimentation: Design and Analysis forField Settings. Chicago: Rand McNallyFetterman, D.M. (1994). Empowerment evaluation. Evaluation Practice 15(l):1-15.Guba, E.G. and Lincoln, YS. (1989). Fourth Generation Evaluation. Newbury Park: Sage.Holly, L (1997). County told to decide duty to fair before improving center MilwaukeeJournal Sentinel. December 9.Lewis, C.A. (1991). Effects of plants and gardening in creating interpersonal andcommunity well-being. in D. Reif (ed.) The Role of Horticulture in Human Well-Being andSocial Development: A National Symposium. Portland: Timer Press.MadaUS, G.F; Scriven, M.S. and Stufflebeam, D.L. (1983). Evaluation Models: Viewpointson Educational and Human Services Evaluation. Boston: Kluwer=Nijhoff.McInnis, K.M.; Petracchl, H.E.; and Morgenbesser, M. (1990). The Hmong in America:Providing Ethnic-Sensitive Health, Education, and Human Services. Dubuque, IA:Kendall/Hunt Publishing Co.Patel, I.C. (1991). Socioeconomic impact of community gardening in an urban setting. inD. Reif (ed.) The Role Of Horticulture in Human Well-Being and Social Development: ANational Symposium Portland: Timber Press; PP. 84-87.
  • 88. Peck, DA (1997) Group to write grounds report Milwaukee Journal Sentinel [DENNIS:date?]Posovac, E.J. and Carey, R.G. (1989) Program Evaluation: Methods and CaseStudies. Beverly Hills: Sage.Rossi, PH. and Freeman, H.E. (1982). Evaluation: A Systematic Approach (SecondEdition) Beverly Hills: Sage.Reif, D. (1992) Human issues in horticulture. HortTechnology20:159-171.Royse, D. (1991). Research Methods in Social Work. Chicago:Nelson-Hall.Rutman, L and Mowbray, L (1983). Understanding Program Evaluation. BeverlyHills: Sage.Schuerman, J.R. (1983). Research and Evaluation in the Human Services. New York:Free Press (Macmillan).Taylor, M.K. (1990). The healthy gardener Flower & Garden. March/April: pp. 46-47Trueba, H.T.; Jacobs, L and Kirton, E.11990). Cultural Conflict and Adaptation: TheCase of Hmong Children in American Society, New York: The Falmer Press.
  • 90. The following pages will present tables on specific topics and specific garden sites thatmay be of interest to program staff and collaborators. The tables are self-explanatory.Program tables: Issues affecting allgardening clients
  • 91. Program Tables: Issues Affecting All RentalGardeners Only
  • 92. Challenges affecting specificgardens--qualitative findings(Based on stakeholder responses on specific programs, when asked: "What are some ofthe weaknesses of the Community Gardens program?")Milwaukee rental gardens: county grounds • need to secure lands • need improved access to water • desire improved patrols near roads (problem with theft and vandalism)Milwaukee start-up garden: Mitchell plots • flooding from creek • prefer site with fewer wild animalsWaukesha rental: Northvlew site • need permanent staffing • desire more information from bulletin boardWaukesha youth: La Casa collaborative • believe ratio of youth to leaders is too high • need better yellow bus transportation to gardens • prefer permanent staffingKenosha rental: Northside gardens [no findings]Kenosha youth: Lincoln collaborative • prefer season-long program • need more planting to increase yield • prefer parental involvementKenosha pantry: Field of Dreams • need more volunteers-especially among pantry clients • desire classes on food storage and recipes (for pantries) • need more communication between pantries and program staff (on when food will arrive/how much food will be available)