Community Greening Team Leader, Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney
Phil Pettitt is part educator, part horticultural advisor, but principally is a community development worker and problem solver. He has over 20 years' experience in the horticulture sector and has provided high level horticultural services to the Botanic Gardens Trust, the Office of the Governor and Historic Houses Trust. For the last 8 years Phil has been the coordinator of the Community Green program, working in partnership with many NGOs, local and state government services.
Community Greening- Evaluation
In 1999, the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney joined with Housing New South Wales to establish a partnership called 'Community Greening' to serve the broader community through innovative outreach programs that promote community garden projects. The program has reached almost 142,000 participants and established 720 community gardens. The Community Greening program won the national Community Program of the Year Award at the Parks & Leisure Australia National Awards of Excellence in 2017. Operating largely in disadvantaged communities, a critique of the program provides an understanding of essential design and planning features as well as common challenges encountered in this work. A recent study conducted in conjunction with Western Sydney University researchers Associate Professor Danielle Tracey, Dr. Son Truong, Dr. Kumara Ward and Professor Tonia Gray, identifies that participants report an increase in social and emotional connection with their community, and sense of community pride. Participants offer key recommendations for future iterations to improve and sustain this community initiative.
The audience will gain an awareness of Royal Botanic Gardens' Community Greening initiative. An outline of the core program design, challenges in planning and delivering such an initiative and the research and evaluation findings will provide insight into the perspectives of end-users and ideas for how program evaluation can be achieved on a small budget.