Stakeholder Perceptions of Community Garden Features

Stakeholder Perceptions of Community Garden Features



Samantha S. Trajcevski


Presentation: 3:20-3:40, Kennedy Union 222



The presentation discusses the study on stakeholder perceptions and attitudes towards greenspaces. This is completed through the identification of different uses and features to maximize use of the space and stakeholder engagement in the community garden. Previous research shows that community gardens are a popular tool to address neighborhood revitalization, local food, and social cohesion; critical gaps exist in the body of literature. This long-term project aimed to address three such gaps in research. First, very few studies have focused on community gardens in minority and lower socioeconomic neighborhoods. Our research was located in the Dayton View Triangle neighborhood, which is 67% African American with a median household income of 35k. Second, previous research largely explores stakeholder perceptions toward established community gardens rather than their perceptions during the planning and design of a community garden. Third, very few studies have examined community-based governance/organizational structures that can ensure long-term sustainability. To better understand stakeholder opinions, we utilized a creative qualitative research method combining photovoice and interviews/focus groups. We conducted eight in-depth semi-structured interviews and four focus groups. Multiple interviewees agreed that the Dayton View Triangle lacks access to a green space. Most believed that a garden would offer social cohesion. Understandably, most participants were concerned about who would manage the garden after it is constructed, however, they believed that a garden club run by a number of passionate residents could offer a solution. Photovoice was an integral method to this project; picture-boards were posted in areas where stakeholder groups would interact with them. They were prompted to place stickers on features they wanted to prioritize. This method emphasized multigenerational design that accounts for diverse stakeholder uses, and highlights the memories, experiences, and expectations that attract stakeholders to community gardens. The findings also outlined the importance of co-creating the design of a community garden to ensure long-term sustainability. The research conducted aimed to help understand the desired features and necessary mechanisms that need to be established to build a sense of community, social cohesion, and attachment around a community garden.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Independent Research

Primary Advisor

Felix Fernando, Zachary A. Piso

Primary Advisor's Department

Hanley Sustainability Institute


Stander Symposium, College of Arts and Sciences

Institutional Learning Goals

Practical Wisdom; Diversity; Critical Evaluation of Our Times

Stakeholder Perceptions of Community Garden Features