Date of Award

Fall 2021

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Philosophy, PhD


School of Community and Global Health

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Paula Palmer

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

C. Anderson Johnson

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Heather Campbell

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

2021 Juanita Preciado


This exploratory comparative mixed method case study provides an empirical contribution to our understanding of the different functions and meaning of community gardens to social-ecological resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the Spring of 2021, I conducted mixed method case studies on informal and formal community gardens in Pomona, California. Qualitative methods included open-ended questions relating to their experiences of community gardening during COVID-19. Quantitative methods included a survey that included demographic questions and questions that assessed loneliness to better understand the social connections embedded in the gardens. A total of 20 community garden participants and managers were interviewed.

Three key findings emerged: 1) garden site characteristics, specifically growing food, may be a key contributor to differences in loneliness scores between formal and informal gardens; 2) the civic ecology practices observed in the community gardens in Pomona suggest that these informal and formal community gardens support sources of social-ecological resilience from the individual to community level; and 3) this study indicates the capacity for community gardens to provide a model for green infrastructure that fosters social-ecological resilience in the city. Considered together, these findings shed light on how the potential needs of some vulnerable groups, such as low-income individuals, could be addressed in the future of public green spaces, designs, and practices.