Pin It
Monday, April 22nd, 2013

How Community Gardens Help Kids Become Good Global Citizens

Why community gardening with your kids is cool-incultureparent/ (c) Jill Sedita

Over the course of the last year, my family has taken a big step towards becoming good stewards of the Earth by “going green” and building neighborhood ties through participation in our community garden.


Community gardens provide important and valuable benefits for children. This type of gardening makes it easy for your kids to become interconnected nature lovers. But there’s an added benefit: working together with others for a greater good fosters a strong sense of responsibility and enlightenment vital to becoming a productive global citizen.


Before scoring the last available plot at our local community garden, we were gardening newbies, and so excited for the opportunity to participate in such a wonderful educational and cooperative experience.


As a family, we’ve learned so much already and look forward to gaining and sharing even more gardening wisdom with our fellow members consisting of both new gardeners like ourselves, as well as more skillful, accomplished growers.



Gardening is a very interactive and engaging activity for kids. They seem naturally drawn to the experience and want to jump right in. There are so many hands-on opportunities to learn about the environment and conservation, including: the importance of healthy soil; how the water cycle works; saving our planet’s resources by recycling and reducing waste. Kids can also begin to develop an in-depth understanding of where their food, clothes and medicines come from. These are great lessons that help children develop a strong appreciation for nature, as well as an understanding of the interconnectivity of our world.


Here are four wonderful ways that community gardening can help connect kids with nature, and inspire them to become good global citizens:


1. Ahh… It’s Serene and Peaceful.
In a world where conflict and hostility seem to surround us, community gardens create a space where kids can relax and feel a sense of peace, joy and cooperation. Community gardening is one of those things that seems to bring out the best in people. It joins people in a common purpose and is universal in that it bridges social, cultural and economic boundaries.


Participants peacefully work together as co-stewards of a plot of earth with the unselfish goal of making the most productive, sustainable use of it.


2. Fosters a Sense of Confidence (Even in Young Children)
The boys delight in fulfilling their responsibilities at the garden. From shoveling soil into the frame of our plot, to designing the layout of seeds and sprouts.




They are always happy to make necessary trips to the garden to fulfill their duties such as depositing our household compost contributions, and helping to tidy up the plot by raking and weeding. The boys recently harvested sweet potatoes from the community plot!




3. It’s So Messy & Fun!
Kids love getting messy and there’s no shortage of dirt to be shoveled and moved. Even better — there’s compost to make! Composting begins at home with things like yard clippings, vegetable scraps and egg shells. We collect ours in a container on our back patio and take it to the garden compost pile every week. When mixed with soil, the bacteria, fungi, worms and insects break it down to create nutrient-rich soil perfect for growing new fruits and veggies!


4. It Fosters a Sense of Community That Lasts a Lifetime
Many community gardens, like ours, are located in rundown sections of a city where members pull together to take care of a small patch of green space in an effort to begin to heal the wounded neighborhood with respect, cooperation and generosity. Community gardens can provide a wonderful, real-world example of the importance of community cooperation, environmental stewardship and sustainability. It’s so important for kids to witness adults modeling these types of productive community interactions. The garden provides many great examples of collaboration and teamwork to be observed by little global citizens and future peacemakers!
Given all the great benefits community gardens provide, it is so nice to see that they are sprouting up in urban areas around the world!


Click for *free* K-12 educational resources provided by Green Education Foundation (GEF). GEF is a national non-profit organization committed to creating a sustainable future through education “to inspire K-12 students and teachers to think holistically about global sustainability concerns and solutions.”


Help your global kids benefit from the community gardening movement! Click here to find a community garden near you! Click here to learn how to start a community garden!


Happy gardening!

© 2013, Jill Sedita. All rights reserved.

More Great Stuff You'll Love:

How I Reclaimed My House from My Mother-in-Law

A whole year of arguing in the making

Primary School Privilege

Time outs due to whistling versus school's out due to poverty

Family History

Who knew that becoming a mother merged our histories of loss and grief

A Different World: No Longer Brown in White America

Is it racist to not want to raise your kids in white America?


Jill Sedita is an attorney, blogger and mother of two amazing boys. She is passionate about global education and seeks to inspire other parents to raise happy, healthy, engaged kids who embrace their global citizenship. Jill writes about how to raise globally enlightened kids, and shares how she enriches her own kids’ global education as they discover world cultures through travel, foods, languages, music, arts, crafts, festivals, and nature on

Leave us a comment!

1 Comment
  1. CommentsGAFolino   |  Monday, 22 April 2013 at 4:35 pm

    Very informative and useful tips.

Notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail.
Or leave your email address and click here to receive email notifications of new comments without leaving a comment yourself.

Get weekly updates right in your inbox so you don't miss out!

Why I Travel 13 Hours Alone with My Kids Every Chance I Get

Travelling with children, while definitely more of a mission, contradicts the old saying that “life is about the journey, not the destination.”

A Diverse Book for Preschoolers in Celebration of Multicultural Children's Book Day

A book that honestly and simply celebrates the every day diversity that children experience.

Why My African Feminist Mother Gave Me the Identity of My Father's Tribe

She gave me an identity so different from her own.

2 Children’s Books about Jamaica

Explore Jamaica with your child.

Costa Rica with Kids: Two Weeks of Family Travel

Two weeks of Pura Vida in a country with so much to offer families.

Should I Worry about My Child's Accent in Her Foreign Language?

See why Dr. Gupta takes offense to this question and where children learn accents from

How to raise trilingual kids when exposure to Dad's language is limited

My kids only get 1-2 hours of the minority language per day-help!

What Cultural Norms Around Bare Feet Taught This Mother in Guatemala

Her baby's bare feet ended up being a lesson on poverty and privilege.
[…] the breastfeeding culture in Mongolia compared to America. Did you have any idea that something as simple as breastfeeding attitudes can […...
From Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan
My mother born in the 1930's is originally from the northern part of Germany. I am in my mid fifties and have a terrible relationship with my mother. She is domineering and hurts those where it hurt...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
[…] JC Niala, InCultureParent […...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
[…] […...
From Breastfeeding Around the World
Although humanity is one Man (in a generic sense, including woman)has identified himself endless groups, religious, nationalistic, ethnic, cultural, linguistic, etc. Once you separate ME from YOU on...
From What’s an Asian? Race and Identity for a New Generation
[…] […...
From Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan
Some great tips here but not many working mothers could feed baby every hour especially if you work in a major multi-nationa...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
So true!!! Thanks for being so honest and self reflective. It's a proof of true characte...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
As a first-time mom I've spent the last two months of my four-month-old's life stressed out about her sleep and I recognize how crazy this is. It's clearly not working for me! I'm wondering how non-...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep

More Global Parenting