The national gardens survey has been guided by a Steering Group of community gardeners from around the country and analysed by staff at the University of Canterbury. It provides the most detailed insights into the national picture of community gardening gathered to date.
The survey, conducted in 2020, was based on desktop surveys that identified 204 community gardens – significantly more than the 152 identified in 2018. These 204 gardens were contacted for comment. We received 89 valid responses, a 43% response rate. You can download the full report here…
It’s interesting to note that 60% of the community gardens who responded have been established since 2010.
Almost one quarter cater to more than 600 instances of volunteering per year. Assuming most volunteers work around five hours per week in their community gardens, it is estimated that the monetary value of this contribution could be between $2.8m and $5.5m (at the living wage).
Feedback highlights community gardens role in providing social cohesion and improved mental health as some of the key outcomes they contribute to.
72% of community gardens see their work as being part of their community’s essential infrastructure. Nevertheless, 48% feel that they are either struggling financially or have barely adequate funding, and around two thirds have no paid staff either full- or part-time. COVID-19 related responses underscore the above points.
73% of community gardens support the notion of a national network to support their work. Important formation work on the national network is underway.