Community Gardening

The Benefits of Getting Involved in CEGEP St. Lawrence’s Community Garden Project

Word has been buzzing that the Psychosocial services at CEGEP Champlain St. Lawrence has teamed up with the Ville De Quebec, the Jardin communautaire de Sillery, and Jeffery Hale Community Partners to start a community garden project in April 2021. 

A community garden is defined by its shared nature, and the main goal of this project is to get people to learn how to work together for a greater purpose despite the Covid-19 situation. Starting in April, a group of students will be taught the responsibilities that come with managing a community garden to ultimately prepare for plantation in May on a 12×24 foot lot. Participating students will get to learn about community organization, the specific rules of the garden, and also get to do some volunteer work such as mowing the lawn and helping out older citizens who are also a part of the garden. Afterall, it is a shared space within a community and engaging that role by helping out in the entire garden space helps accentuate that. 

CÉGEP St. Lawrence is partnering with the Jardin communautaire de Sillery located at Le Domaine Cataraqui on Chemin Saint-Louis. This beautiful estate brings a certain neoclassical charm while overlooking the St Lawrence river, creating a calming and enjoyable environment perfectly suitable for gardening. 

The group of students who will be tending to this garden will have a wide variety of crops to choose from some of our local organic growers. In May, plantations will begin and the rest of the summer will consist of weeding and watering– all in preparation from the harvest that can start as early as July and can last until October!

Benefits of Community Gardening

Community gardening is a “complex multifactorial activity” (Lovell et. al), which, in essence, promotes an all around healthy lifestyle that provides opportunities for local health and community development (Wakefield et al.). From physical activity to community involvement and harvesting quality foods, a community garden is a place to decrease stress levels and work towards supplying for our own basic needs (Lovell et al.), something many of us have lately been forgetting to take seriously. 

Community gardening has recently peaked the interests of many researchers regarding it both as a contribution to sustainable development as well as social learning. The process of social interaction, participation, and knowledge sharing are all key indicators of the learning potential to be found within a community garden project (Rogge et al.). Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, overall levels of loneliness and poor social contact have been increasing, and community gardens have been known to be a beneficial activity to break isolation and build self-esteem (Wakefield et al.).

An overall sense of wellbeing is often associated with community gardening. Getting a chance to disconnect from our heavily electronic-based lives is becoming increasingly harder for people during the pandemic; community gardens give a place for people to retreat while also working towards a goal (Wakefield et al.). A sense of community comes naturally when planning out tasks, an improved diet is brought directly into the homes of the volunteers when harvesting, and weekly visits to the garden provides an overall increased level of physical activity (Lovell et al.). All in all, community gardens are a place for growth– not just for the plants, but also or the people tending to them. 

How to Get Involved

If you are a student at CEGEP St. Lawrence who is interested in participating in the community garden project send a mio to “psychosocial” to sign up. Do not hesitate to ask any questions you may have before officially signing up, and let it be known that you should be available during the summer to participate. 


Lovell, Rebecca, et al. ‘What Are the Health and Well-Being Impacts of Community Gardening for Adults and Children: A Mixed Method Systematic Review Protocol’. Environmental Evidence, vol. 3, no. 1, Oct. 2014, p. 20. BioMed Central, doi:10.1186/2047-2382-3-20.

Rogge, Nicole, et al. ‘The Potential of Social Learning in Community Gardens and the Impact of Community Heterogeneity’. Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, vol. 24, Mar. 2020, p. 100351. ScienceDirect, doi:10.1016/j.lcsi.2019.100351.

Wakefield, Sarah, et al. ‘Growing Urban Health: Community Gardening in South-East Toronto’. Health Promotion International, vol. 22, no. 2, June 2007, pp. 92–101. (Crossref), doi:10.1093/heapro/dam001.

By Isabelle Devi Poirier


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