© HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Helen Nellis.
“With a culture of mistrust, how do we create community? How do we find common ground? Common ground.“
Patricia Montley, In Nature’s Honor,
OUR COMMON SPACE
Since signing the agreement with LBC in November 2021, and in line with NINE RED Presents…(CIC)’s commitment to help deliver “Our Shared Vision for Luton”
“Luton will be a healthy, fair and sustainable town, where everyone can thrive and no-one has to live in poverty” – Luton’s Strategic Vision for 2020-2040.
HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Helen Nellis formally launched The Piece by Peace Community Garden and Hub on June 26th 2022, since then the Theatre Garden has:-
1.Beautified the Landscape;
2.Made Fresh Home-grown Produce Accessible;
3.Promoted Healthier Lifestyles;
4.Helped Clean Up the Environment;
5.Helped Build Stronger Communities;
6.Provided Opportunities for Learning;
7. Helped Relieve Stress and Increased Wellness.
“The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” – Nelson Henderson
The people working in the garden benefit from exercise and sunshine, as well as the therapeutic benefits of working in a garden.
Weeding a garden is particularly effective in stress relief and provides mental health benefits to participants.
Our garden contributes to a healthy lifestyle by providing fresh, safe, and affordable herbs, fruits, and vegetables.
People becoming more active helps improves overall physical health. Increasing wellness and helping to reduce stress.
The Theatre Garden provides big social opportunities that build a sense of community and belonging.
Urban gardening gives all people a chance to enjoy the fresh air and healthy outdoor exercise; whilst also providing a peaceful retreat from the noise and bustle of an urban neighborhood, easing stress for residents.
Studies have demonstrated that when there is a community garden in a neighborhood, that people consume more fresh fruits and vegetables.
Our community garden gives people an opportunity to learn and share knowledge on gardening, nature, and cooking.
The garden has created a safe and beautiful place to gather for humans and beneficial plants, insects, and animals.
OUR COMMON SENSE
A SENSE OF COMMUNITY
The Piece by Peace Community Garden can mitigate some of the problems that plague urban areas like those surrounding Leagrave Park.
The Theatre Garden @ Leagrave Park, has been a beneficial addition to the communities surrounding Leagrave park by increasing the availability of nutritious foods, strengthening community ties, and creating a more sustainable system. Our garden can help reduce negative environmental impacts by promoting sustainable agriculture. Urban agriculture such as the Theatre Garden benefits humans, plants, and animals because it creates habitats and improves the ecology of the area.
Our community garden is an integral part of economy sharing and allows numerous people to benefit from an asset such as the land. These benefits are not limited to just the gardeners to the community generally.
Our garden has created a sense of community among residents who are increasingly disconnected from each other and created opportunities to provide healthy options in communities that are often food scarce.
The plants naturally provide fresh air people breathe. While doing so they help to create clean air by eliminating pollutants from the air.
The plants also absorb rainwater, which means there’s less runoff on the streets. This is a result that fewer pollutants get washed into streams, rivers, and lakes.
Community gardeners also reduce waste overall. This is due to the fact that things like leaves and tree trimmings are able to be converted into powerful fertilizers.
Environmental benefits also include the increase of pollinator plants that can improve conditions for bees and other endangered pollinators.
Plants also reduce the overall temperature compared to paved spaces, so these gardens are especially beneficial in urban areas. The environment of a community is improved by having an element of natural beauty so that rather than empty lots in some neighborhoods, the space between buildings can be filled with flowers or even food.
MEETING THE VISION
Social ties are important to the wellbeing of people in a community since they can bring positive health effects and community involvement.
Our Community Garden allows for the creation of social ties and the building of a greater feeling of community. These connections help reduce crime, empower residents and allow residents to feel safe in their neighbourhoods.
The Piece by Peace garden brings people together and may reduce crime rates in the neighborhood by increasing visibility and engaging citizens in positive initiatives.
Sharing a community garden gives people a chance to connect with their neighbors. Gardeners also feel more personally invested in the places where they live, gaining a sense of ownership and community spirit.
Also, because they get people out of their houses, where they can keep an eye on the street, community gardens can help reduce crime in the surrounding area.
Community gardens offer unique opportunities to establish relationships within and across physical and social barriers, including:
- Inter-generational exposure to cultural traditions
- Cultural exchange with other gardeners
- Access to non-English speaking communities
A recent study found that compared to residents living near barren areas, those closer to green common spaces, are more likely to use them and as a result more likely to interact with neighbours.
Relieving stress and increasing wellness:
Modern life is stressful. Most people race from one activity or item on their to-do list to the next without reflecting on why they are doing what they are doing. Gardening is an invitation to slow down, connect with nature, and foster relationships with like-minded individuals.
It creates an opportunity for people to think about all of the other items on their to-do list and decide which ones are really important and meaningful.
Accordingly, a community garden is a place that helps people to relieve stress and increase their overall sense of wellness.
Preserves green space:
Maintaining and developing garden space is cheaper than other options. This is partly because gardens aren’t as big, and also because the majority of the cost comes from labour. Gardens for community use are an opportunity to escape the bustle and noise of urban areas, transforming empty space into a lively, green heart of a community.
Health and wellness
Community gardens improve the availability of fresh and high-quality foods, which can help cut down on costs for food and increase the security of food for those who need it the most.
Studies have shown that those who cultivate their own food tend to increase their intake of fruits and vegetables and can improve their eating practices. Finally, gardening boosts physical activity, while also improving your mental health and relaxation.
There are many educational opportunities in the community garden. Its been an excellent space for people to get to know and interact with others who may come from different social, cultural as well as religious backgrounds.
Furthermore, getting together in the garden is a good opportunity to discuss environmental issues and to lead a more healthy lifestyle.
Gardening in a community has been a great opportunity to teach children about the source of their food and to gain a fundamental introduction to the environment, work abilities, and basic business principles. It is also a great way to educate adults too.
This Community garden has provided people with opportunities to connect with and understand neighbors with different backgrounds, which includes individuals of various age groups, races in addition to social strata.