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Advisor: Rickie Brawer, , Department of Family and Community Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University


The purpose of this project was to create an evaluation system for the Urban Tree Connection programs in Philadelphia, PA and their numerous community gardens across the city. A major evaluation of the organization has never been done and the goal was to create a system that could be used across all garden sites and participants. Also, an evaluation system would allow for quantitative data on the organization that can easily be disseminated to the communities surrounding the gardens and those individuals involved in the gardens. Three surveys were developed and pretested; one for youth, one for adolescents, and one for adults. The surveys were designed to assess key factors/determinants of interest to founding members and funders of the Urban Tree Connection. These factors include social capital, knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, entrepreneurship, family involvement, and community engagement. Although barriers such as safety and lack of community cohesion existed, preliminary conclusions showed that garden participation improved social capital, entrepreneurship, knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors among all age groups. However, further annual evaluation is needed as this was just an initial pre-test to ensure that the surveys created tested those factors that were of most interest to key stakeholders in the Urban Tree Connection.

Presentation in two parts: Part two is linked here.