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Matthew Kelly


Introduction:Community gardens have become an integral part of most major U.S. cities. From Washington DC to Seattle, community gardens have played a role in providing quality produce in both urban and suburban areas within a supermarket-driven climate. An important utility of community gardens is not only the supply of quality food to a community, but also to educate children on the importance of a healthy and diverse diet of fruits and vegetables for them and their families (Lautenschlager & Smith 2007; McCullum, et al.2005; Robinson-O’Brien, Story, and Helm 2009). School programs are effective in educating children on healthy eating habits and exposing them to healthy and diverse types of foods (Robinson-O’Brien, Story, and Helm 2009). I therefore analyzed the available land parcels within a 10-minute walk from Tacoma Schools to provide ideas for future community garden locations that could best serve students and their communities. I conducted an analysis of available parcels for future community gardens by using the ArcGIS software to create an index of desirability for eligible parcels. The variables used were grade of slope, concentration of arsenic in the soil, proximity to Tacoma schools, and location of a city park. When analyzing community gardens in Tacoma, Seattle, San Francisco, and Washington DC, the number of community gardens in Tacoma fell far short of the numbers in these other cities. Yet when normalized with population, Tacoma

Growing Communities through Education: an analysis of future locations for community gardens in Tacoma, WA