Author: Mckercher, Kimberly
The goals of this case study were to explore the role of community gardens in supporting quality of life in urban dwelling older adults and to gain a better understanding of the social aspects of community gardening participation. Qualitative research methods were employed, including in-depth interviews and ethnographic observations with selected garden members from Cottonwood Community Garden in East Vancouver, Canada. Five substantive themes emerged: a) Maintenance of overall well-being, b) Engaging in a meaningful pastime, c) Social engagement, d) “Staying invested in the garden as I age”, and e) Gardening in East Vancouver. These themes depict the subjective experiences of older community gardeners and highlight the physical, psychological and social benefits ensuing from their participation in community gardening. The findings have potential implications on community gardening programs for older adults and design guidelines to support the inclusion of accessible green spaces in urban environments to facilitate active aging.
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Thesis advisor: Chaudhury, Habib
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