Community Gardens Can Improve Mental Health and Change Environmental Perception

The United Kingdom Horticultural Community recognizes community gardens in its new best category. A community in Easterhouse, Glasgow, often considered the poorest and most troubled community, is using shared gardens to change that perception.

A community park located in the Lochend residential area, becomes a place of hope, including education and welfare for those who garden there.

Hubert Rudnicki, a student from Lochend High, started gardening for the first time during the closure. “I tried it, I instilled the motivation to do it and it worked. So I feel good.”

One of the children said he grew “radish radish” some time ago, while another child spoke excitedly about the “purple cauliflower” he had grown, and he admired the plant more than he ate it.

The Easterhouse area of ​​Glasgow, where the community garden is located, has been considered one of the most impoverished and troubled communities in Scotland.

But those who use the community gardens say they help change perceptions.

Isobel Langlends took her children to the garden. She said, “It’s therapeutic. It’s time to spend with the kids. It’s good for my son too. He’s autistic.”

For the first time, the United Kingdom Horticultural Community now recognizes community gardens in the best new category.

Prince Charles meets volunteers in a community park during a visit to Treverbyn Community Hall, in St Austell, southwest England, Tuesday 21 July 2020. (Arthur Edwards/Pool via AP)

Prince Charles meets volunteers in a community park during a visit to Treverbyn Community Hall, in St Austell, southwest England, Tuesday 21 July 2020. (Arthur Edwards/Pool via AP)

Kay Clarke of the United Kingdom’s Royal Holticultural Community said, “Holticulture and gardening are truly a means by which you can create change within your community. So we hope this continues. We will do everything we can to support it.”

Community gardens became popular during the lockdown where people wanted to be outdoors and socialize with social distancing.

Besides being beneficial for improving mental health, Susan Wilson from the charity FARE Foundation said gardening also provides knowledge for children.

“Well, the kids thought they were going to the supermarket to buy vegetables. They didn’t realize they came from the ground,” he explained. [lj/uh]

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