London Community Resource Centre
Best Practices for Community Gardens
Presented by:
Cirrus Consulting Group
Jeremiah Brenn...
• LCRC is a volunteer-driven, non-profit, charitable organization
• The London Community Resource Centre (LCRC) has been a...
Economic
Social
Environment
Examine the environmental sustainability
of the 22 LCRC community garden sites
scattered throu...
Best Practices
• Community Gardens
• Tilling Practices
• Fertilizer Practices
• Irrigation Techniques
Water Supply
Environ...
ECONOMICS
• Reclaiming and preserving vacant land
• Increased property values
• Garden space is cheaper to maintain
than p...
COMMUNITY GARDEN QUESTIONNAIRE
A Questionnaire was created and sent to surrounding
communities to determine their garden p...
QUESTIONNAIRE PARTICIPANTS
•Hamilton
•Kingston
•Kinsbridge
•Windsor
•Sarnia
•University of Western Ontario
•University of ...
QUESTIONNAIRE RESULTS
TILLING
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
Rototill Individual Till No Till
• Most common seasonal roto-tilling
• No till...
QUESTIONNAIRE RESULTS
WATER MANAGEMENT
0
1
2
3
4
Hose Rain Barrels River Sprinkler Tap Drip Irrigation
Water Sources:
•Hos...
BEST PRACTICES GUIDE
Watering
Fertilization
Tilling
BEST PRACTICES GUIDE
Considerations
• Transparent way to determine Best-Practices
• Method which allows us to give relativ...
• No-Till with Mulch Cover
• No-Till with Cover Crops
• Shallow Till with Hand tools
• Deep (er) till with roto-tiller
• D...
• Disruption of Soil Horizons
(on-site impact)
• Erosion Effects (on-site impact)
• Disruption of Organisms (on-
site impa...
Compares the various Environmental
Criteria based on level of importance
• Incorporated a Weighted Linear
Combination
• Cr...
Environmental
Criteria
No-Till (Mulch and Cover
Crops)
Shallow Till (Hand
Tools)
Soil Horizons
Erosion Effects
Organisms
S...
• Primary Recommendation:
• Implement No-Till Gardening through
mulch or cover crops
• Secondary Recommendation:
• Impleme...
• Conventional
• Conventional Organic
• Cover Crops
• Mulch
• Homemade Compost
FERTILIZER METHODS
• Nutrient Release (on-site impact)
• Potential for ‘Plant Burning’ (on-site
impact)
• Energy to produce (external impact)...
Environmental
Criteria
Compost Mulch Cover Crops
Nutrient
Release
Plant Burning
Energy
Availability
Soil Moisture
Runoff
N...
Primary Recommendation
• Promote the use of home-
made compost
Secondary Recommendation
• Increase education for
responsib...
IRRIGATION METHODS
Hand watering
Furrow irrigation
Sprinkler irrigation
Drip irrigation
Microsprinkler irrigation
Clay pot...
IRRIGATION ENVIRONMENTAL CRITERIA
• Root Zone
• Evaporation
• Transpiration
• Deep Percolation
• Runoff
• Drift
Maximize E...
Drip Irrigation
• Best water efficiency
• Can be designed with gravity
fed system
Challenges
• Maintenance complexity
• Co...
IMPROVING HAND WATERING
Proper Technique
•Runoff
•Evaporation
•Deep Percolation
•Drift
Scheduling
•Evaporation
•Deep Perco...
WATER SUPPLY
Sources
•Onsite Taps
•Water Tanks
•Rain Barrels
•Wells
Considerations
•Ability to meet water needs
•Cost
•Mai...
WATER SUPPLY
RECOMMENDATIONS
Onsite Taps
•Best solution for water supply
needs
•Future Planning
Challenges
•High capital c...
WATER SUPPLY
Rain Barrels
•Improve LCRC environmental performance
•Low capital cost
•Connect gardeners with conservation
C...
Environmental Audits
• A management tool:
– An evaluation of the performance of the organization
– Designed to protect the...
• Enables environmental problems and
risks to be anticipated and proper
responses to be planned
• Demonstrates that an org...
ENVIRONMENTAL AUDIT
Critical Points and Environmental Systems
• Water
•Soil
•Human Activities
•Flora and Fauna
•Nutrient C...
• A pre-construction and pre-
season environmental audit
checklist should be utilize
d by the LCRC.
• Key performance meas...
List of Measures for Immediate Implementation
KEY PERFORMANCE MEASURES
List of Measures for Immediate Implementation
KEY PERFORMANCE MEASURES
List of Measures for Future Implementation
Air Emissions – Annual Growing Season
CO2 Emissions from Roto-tilling
Beginning...
List of Measures for Future Implementation
KEY PERFORMANCE MEASURES
Water Usage
Water Usage from Weekly Operations
Water U...
PRE-CONSTRUCTION CHECKLIST
Focused on:
 Materials
 Energy
 Effect on Natural Cycles
 Disturbance of the
environment
 ...
PRE-GROWING SEASON CHECKLIST
SoilWaterWastePlant Biodiversity
CONCLUSIONS
• Implementation of the recommendations will aid th
e environmental performance of the community garde
ns
• Mo...
CONCLUSIONS
• In their pursuance of environmental excellence, the LCR
C has taken a positive first step through their inve...
Economic
Social
Environment
Sustainability
CONCLUSIONS
Questions?
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LCRC Presentation

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This is a presentation that was given at UWO\'s IDEAS conference 2010 by myself and my consulting group.

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    1. 1. London Community Resource Centre Best Practices for Community Gardens Presented by: Cirrus Consulting Group Jeremiah Brenner, Martha Fallis, Dane Labonte, Josh Wise I.D.E.A.S Conference Friday April 16, 2010
    2. 2. • LCRC is a volunteer-driven, non-profit, charitable organization • The London Community Resource Centre (LCRC) has been an integral part of the City of London for more than 30 years • LCRC actively addresses the issue of food security that affects a broad scope of residents in the city • At present there are 22 community gardens across the City of London managed by the LCRC What is a community garden? A shared piece of land where people rent garden plots, grow vegetables, fruits and herbs of their choice LONDON COMMUNITY RESOURCE CENTRE (LCRC)
    3. 3. Economic Social Environment Examine the environmental sustainability of the 22 LCRC community garden sites scattered throughout the City of London Focusing on 3 Aspects: •Maintenance Best Practice •Watering Supply Issues •Environmental Audit Framework PROJECT SCOPE Sustainability
    4. 4. Best Practices • Community Gardens • Tilling Practices • Fertilizer Practices • Irrigation Techniques Water Supply Environmental Audits PROJECT OVERVIEW
    5. 5. ECONOMICS • Reclaiming and preserving vacant land • Increased property values • Garden space is cheaper to maintain than parkland IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNITY GARDENS SOCIAL • Youth • Reduces crime • Health and therapy • Community development • Education ENVIRONMENT • Green space in urban environments • Water filtration • Oxygen restoration • Waste management
    6. 6. COMMUNITY GARDEN QUESTIONNAIRE A Questionnaire was created and sent to surrounding communities to determine their garden practices The Questionnaire Focused on • Management styles • Tilling Techniques • Water Management • Fertilizer and Pesticide Use
    7. 7. QUESTIONNAIRE PARTICIPANTS •Hamilton •Kingston •Kinsbridge •Windsor •Sarnia •University of Western Ontario •University of Waterloo School of Architecture •York Region
    8. 8. QUESTIONNAIRE RESULTS TILLING 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 Rototill Individual Till No Till • Most common seasonal roto-tilling • No till- raised beds • Individual plot till
    9. 9. QUESTIONNAIRE RESULTS WATER MANAGEMENT 0 1 2 3 4 Hose Rain Barrels River Sprinkler Tap Drip Irrigation Water Sources: •Hose •Rain Barrel •Taps •River •Sprinkler •Drip Irrigation
    10. 10. BEST PRACTICES GUIDE Watering Fertilization Tilling
    11. 11. BEST PRACTICES GUIDE Considerations • Transparent way to determine Best-Practices • Method which allows us to give relative weights to different criteria (depending on impact level) Our process • Defined the Methods for each consideration • Defined the Environmental Criteria • Employed Multi Criteria Evaluation to determine most environmentally friendly Method
    12. 12. • No-Till with Mulch Cover • No-Till with Cover Crops • Shallow Till with Hand tools • Deep (er) till with roto-tiller • Deep (er) till with harrow tiller DEFINING TILLING METHODS
    13. 13. • Disruption of Soil Horizons (on-site impact) • Erosion Effects (on-site impact) • Disruption of Organisms (on- site impact) • Effects of Soil Moisture (on- site impact) • Effects to Nutrients (on-site impact) • Fossil Fuel Use (external impact) • Seedbed Prep (on-site impact) TILLING ENVIRONMENTAL CRITERIA
    14. 14. Compares the various Environmental Criteria based on level of importance • Incorporated a Weighted Linear Combination • Creates Scores for each Criteria Determines the level of impact for each Method (positive or negative) Final Score = (Environmental Criteria Score) * (Method’s level of impact) MULTI-CRITERIA EVALUATION
    15. 15. Environmental Criteria No-Till (Mulch and Cover Crops) Shallow Till (Hand Tools) Soil Horizons Erosion Effects Organisms Soil Moisture Nutrients Fossil Fuel Use Seedbed Prep BEST TILLING PRACTICES
    16. 16. • Primary Recommendation: • Implement No-Till Gardening through mulch or cover crops • Secondary Recommendation: • Implement Shallow-till Gardening through hand-tool use • Secondary Recommendation (B): • Ensure proper timing with roto-tiller and inspect soil quality bi-annually TILLING RECOMMENDATIONS
    17. 17. • Conventional • Conventional Organic • Cover Crops • Mulch • Homemade Compost FERTILIZER METHODS
    18. 18. • Nutrient Release (on-site impact) • Potential for ‘Plant Burning’ (on-site impact) • Energy to produce (external impact) • Local availability/ collection methods (external impact) • Soil moisture effects (on-site impact) • Possibility for runoff (external impact) FERTILIZER ENVIRONMENTAL CRITERIA
    19. 19. Environmental Criteria Compost Mulch Cover Crops Nutrient Release Plant Burning Energy Availability Soil Moisture Runoff Nutrient Release BEST FERTILIZER PRACTICES
    20. 20. Primary Recommendation • Promote the use of home- made compost Secondary Recommendation • Increase education for responsible fertilizer usage FERTILIZER RECOMMENDATION
    21. 21. IRRIGATION METHODS Hand watering Furrow irrigation Sprinkler irrigation Drip irrigation Microsprinkler irrigation Clay pot irrigation
    22. 22. IRRIGATION ENVIRONMENTAL CRITERIA • Root Zone • Evaporation • Transpiration • Deep Percolation • Runoff • Drift Maximize Efficient Water Application Minimize Water Loss
    23. 23. Drip Irrigation • Best water efficiency • Can be designed with gravity fed system Challenges • Maintenance complexity • Cost • Vandalism Clay Pot Irrigation • High water efficiency • Historic interest • Hands on watering Challenges • Cost • Lack of literature • Tilling IRRIGATION METHODS RECOMMENDATIONS
    24. 24. IMPROVING HAND WATERING Proper Technique •Runoff •Evaporation •Deep Percolation •Drift Scheduling •Evaporation •Deep Percolation Mulching •Evaporation •Runoff Furrows •Runoff • Dominant form of irrigation • Potentially high water loss • Cheap equipment • Social benefits • Highly controllable
    25. 25. WATER SUPPLY Sources •Onsite Taps •Water Tanks •Rain Barrels •Wells Considerations •Ability to meet water needs •Cost •Maintenance hours •Environmental Impacts
    26. 26. WATER SUPPLY RECOMMENDATIONS Onsite Taps •Best solution for water supply needs •Future Planning Challenges •High capital cost •Reduces water conservation incentives Well •Good for meeting water supply Needs Challenges •High capital cost •Reduces water conservation incentive •Source water protection concerns
    27. 27. WATER SUPPLY Rain Barrels •Improve LCRC environmental performance •Low capital cost •Connect gardeners with conservation Challenges •Need additional filling •No collection area at some sites Water Tanks •Helps meet current needs •Low capital cost Challenges •No water catchment •Needs additional filling Recommendations •Improve harvesting •Create communication links •Education about importance of water conservation
    28. 28. Environmental Audits • A management tool: – An evaluation of the performance of the organization – Designed to protect the environment – Examine the interaction between a business operation and natural surroundings • Can include: – Emissions to air – Land and Water – Legal Constraints – Effects on the Neighbouring Community – Landscape and Ecology – Public's perception of an organization’s operation • A Diagnostic Tool ENVIRONMENTAL AUDIT
    29. 29. • Enables environmental problems and risks to be anticipated and proper responses to be planned • Demonstrates that an organization is aware of its impact upon the environment • Provides increased awareness amongst key stakeholders • Develops more efficient resource use and financial savings ENVIRONMENTAL AUDIT Why an Environmental Audit ?
    30. 30. ENVIRONMENTAL AUDIT Critical Points and Environmental Systems • Water •Soil •Human Activities •Flora and Fauna •Nutrient Cycles •Organic Matter Balance at Soil Level
    31. 31. • A pre-construction and pre- season environmental audit checklist should be utilize d by the LCRC. • Key performance measures of the LCRC should be captured with currently a vailable data in the short -term and long- term, as data capture strat egies become available. RECOMMENDATIONS
    32. 32. List of Measures for Immediate Implementation KEY PERFORMANCE MEASURES
    33. 33. List of Measures for Immediate Implementation KEY PERFORMANCE MEASURES
    34. 34. List of Measures for Future Implementation Air Emissions – Annual Growing Season CO2 Emissions from Roto-tilling Beginning of Season Roto-tilling Amount of fuel used by tractor ( )(Litres) x 2.4 kg of CO2 Amount of Carbon Dioxide Emissions = Kg of CO2 End of Season Roto-tilling Amount of fuel used by tractor ( ) (Litres) x 2.4 kg of CO2 Kg of CO2 Amount of Carbon Dioxide Emissions = Total Emissions from Roto-tilling for Season = Kg of CO2 CO2 Emissions from Weed Trimming Equipment: Amount of fuel used ( ) (Litres) x 2.4 kg of CO2 Amount of Carbon Dioxide Emissions = Kg of CO2 Total Amount of CO2 Emissions for Season = Kg of CO2 KEY PERFORMANCE MEASURES
    35. 35. List of Measures for Future Implementation KEY PERFORMANCE MEASURES Water Usage Water Usage from Weekly Operations Water Usage In Rain Barrels ( ) Litres of water used x ( ) Frequency of Fills per Week Amount of Water Usage (Litres) = Litres Water Usage in City Owned Tanks ( ) Litres of water used by truck x ( ) Frequency of Fills per Week Amount of Water Usage (Litres) = Litres Total Amount of Known Water Usage (Litres) Litres
    36. 36. PRE-CONSTRUCTION CHECKLIST Focused on:  Materials  Energy  Effect on Natural Cycles  Disturbance of the environment  Long-term impacts
    37. 37. PRE-GROWING SEASON CHECKLIST SoilWaterWastePlant Biodiversity
    38. 38. CONCLUSIONS • Implementation of the recommendations will aid th e environmental performance of the community garde ns • Moving forward the information collected for this project can be used as background to help the organization a ssess the best alternatives in the future • Best practice techniques for everyday operations, such as tilling, will help to ensure the longevity and long-term productivity of the garden sites
    39. 39. CONCLUSIONS • In their pursuance of environmental excellence, the LCR C has taken a positive first step through their investigat ion of these issues with Cirrus Consultants • Through the environmental audit checklists and key performance measures a proper baseline of impacts can be generated by the LCRC • This information will allow the gardens to continue to grow in size and popularity, while ensuring positive environmental performance
    40. 40. Economic Social Environment Sustainability CONCLUSIONS
    41. 41. Questions?

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