Date of Award

Fall 2021

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Philosophy, PhD

Program

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

Abstract

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.

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