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SWOT of GCE Garden

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by

Mili Vidal-Hallett

on 23 March 2015

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Transcript of SWOT of GCE Garden

The flowers and shrubs add color and life to the otherwise grey street and the vegetable area provides food. The gardens can also create a sense of safety and caring. As JP says, "..it's nice that we have our own bit of green space".
Opportunity for Students
If a garden is to thrive, it must be cultivated. Students are perfect for this job because they could learn a lot from the experience and get community service hours.
It's Big
The garden is big enough that, if it were well-cultivated, it could be making a really nice contribution to the neighborhood and people's everyday lives. According to AMK, a GCE student, "there's enough space to be planting lots of types of plants".
Beauty and Food
Lack of Interest
Although the gardens have a lot of potential, not enough people care to work to cultivate them, or fund raise for them. According to JP, this is our most prominent weakness.
Lack of Plants
Especially since the lot is so expansive, it can look pretty barren when there isn't enough plants to fill it. The plants there are don't really thrive or spread, either.
Veg Garden too Small
Albeit we have a large lot for other plants, the raised beds for the vegetable gardens are quite small. They aren't able to provide food for the entire GCE community, decreasing incentive to care for them.
Inspire Involvement
To help students and staff get excited about contributing to the garden, there could be a little more focus on it in class. An example of this would be to have days dedicated to cultivating it as a community, making it both a learning and bonding experience. When people see what the physical benefits of their efforts, they may feel good about themselves and want to do more. JP suggested a Garden Club would be another great way to encourage involvement.
Garden Thoughtfully
Since the area where the garden resides can be very windy and shady, it's important to find plants that can really thrive under those conditions. Another thing that would be of great help would be to replenish the soil as it has had most of its nutrients sucked out of it over years without an ecosystem to replace them.
Strengths
Weaknesses
Opportunities
SWOT Exam. of the GCE Gardens
Expand Veg Garden
As before mentioned, the vegetable garden is difficult to benefit from as a community due to its size. If funding were available, it would be nice to expand the raised beds so more people can eat tasty vegetables; adding another layer to the learning experience.
Threats
Location
The street the garden is located on can be very windy and has very little sunshine, making things hard for most plants. There is also a doggie care place and the dogs pee and poop wherever they please, including on the garden. Plus, since it is right next to a street, exhaust from cars can harm the plants.
Strangers and Children
Natural Pests
Squirrels and insects can uproot the plants and eat the vegetables. There needs to be a way to protect the gardens from these things.
People will litter and walk all over the garden. It's possible that, if it clearly had more time and effort put into it, people wouldn't feel as justified or uncaring in disrespecting it. As NC noted, "people disrespecting the plants is a big threat".
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