No two gardens are the same
No Community Greening garden is the same because every community, and the individuals who are part of it, are unique.
“At some places we provide mentoring and support for participants, deliver horticulture and Indigenous education or generate opportunities for disadvantaged youth,” said Phil.
“The model also includes 'outreach horticulture' through hands-on learning and capacity building with Community Greening horticulturalists and educators,” Phil said.
In 2017, the program was recognised with three honours: The Community Program of the Year from Parks and Leisure Australia, the Australian Institute of Horticulture Award of Merit, and the Community Environment Achievement Award from Keep NSW Beautiful.
The science is in: gardening is good for you
Associate Professor Tonia Gray from Western Sydney University boarded a flight in 2012 and found herself sitting next to Phil Pettitt. What started off with a polite conversation between two strangers travelling to the same destination ended up becoming a highly successful collaboration lasting over six years.
Associate Professor Tonia Gray, Dr Son Truong, Associate Professor Danielle Tracey and Dr Kumara Ward performed an independent evaluation to explore the Community Greening program’s impact on new participants and communities in social housing by tracking six new garden sites in 2017.
With a growing body of research that shows access to green spaces results in stress reduction, improved mood, accelerated healing, attention restoration, productivity and heightened imagination and creativity – the researchers weren’t surprised by their findings.
How gardening changed participants satisfaction with aspects of their life from the Western Sydney University research report (Truong et al., 2018, p.4).