Attitudes toward and interest in community gardening in two low-income neighborhoods
Foncham, Samuel Awah
The purpose of the study was to determine attitudes toward community gardening and community gardening needs of residents in two low-income neighborhoods, Amett Benson (AB) and Parkway-Cherry Point (PC)neighborhods in the city of Lubbock, Texas, as well as to investigate resources available for community gardening. A two-part instrument was developed by the researcher for attitudes toward community gardening (CG) and needs data collection. A second instrument was developed to determine the resources available for community gardening. The instruments were reviewed by a panel of experts for content validity. Prior to the administration, the two-part instrument was pilot-tested using two nearby neighborhoods. The Cronbach alpha coefficient for the attitude scale was 0.85 and 0.86 for the needs assessment scale. Data were collected through structured interviews conducted by trained interviewers. Interviewees rated their attitudes toward community gardening and community gardening needs on a scale of 1 to 5, five being strongly agree and 1 being strongly disagree. One hundred adults were interviewed on a voluntary basis in the two neighborhoods. The interviewees ranged in age from 18 to 88 years; 122 were females and 78 males. Data for the resources available for community gardening were obtained by interviewing local leaders and representatives from several agencies and institutions in the two neighborhoods. Results indicated that residents in both AB and PC neighborhoods had positive attitudes toward community gardening and perceived a need for community gardens. The level of significance for analysis was established as .05. Using ANOVA, it was determined that the two neighborhoods were significantly different for both attitudes and needs. Hispanics and whites were not different in attitudes toward community gardening or community gardening need; they were significantly different from African Americans. Ethnicity revealed a significant difference for both attitudes toward community gardening and community gardening needs. The number of hours worked per week revealed a significant difference on attitude but not for needs, however, the other sample characteristics were not significantly different. Analysis of the resources needed for community gardening revealed that a number of local institutions or agencies could supply some form of human resources, e.g., while the South Plains Food Bank and some community leaders could supply both human and non-human resources.