Communication: the key to successful community gardens
Main Article Content
Community gardens (CGs) are collectively cultivated plots of land and have gained traction in both the public health and education sectors. Previous research indicates involvement in such initiatives can holistically improve the health of communities and encourage experiential learning. However, to date, little is known about strategies and tools to improve communication amongst organisers and with potential volunteers. This action-learning project aimed to improve communication amongst organisers and with potential volunteers at the AUT community garden initiative (AUT CGI). To do this, a user-centred strategy and accompanying tools were developed, then evaluated. The methods included six distinct phases including an examination of the current literature, preliminary expert interviews, thematic analysis of data, development of the strategy and accompanying tools, evaluative interviews, and final thematic analysis. Common themes from the literature, community observation, and preliminary interviews informed the development of the strategy and tools. Three key themes identified in relation to CGs were communication, collaboration, and utility of tools. These findings are in accordance with existing health promotion (HP), health communication (HC), and CG literature, highlighting the importance of, and challenges to, communication, collaboration, and implementation of user-friendly tools, relevant to CG initiatives.