PROJECT PROFILE: Inclusive Community Gardens
In Atlantic, Camden, and Gloucester Counties, Southern New Jersey

This project aims to follow inclusive design principles to build and/or renovate seven community gardens in southern New Jersey and make the gardens welcoming to people with disabilities, including developmental and intellectual disabilities. Sonya Harris, Master Gardener and founder of the Bullock Garden Project in Glassboro, is lending her expertise as a consultant in designing these gardens. She is working with a garden design team for each of the seven participating gardens across Camden, Atlantic, and Gloucester counties. Some of the ways in which gardens will become more welcoming of people with disabilities include ensuring wheelchair access to all parts of the garden, adding braille and pictures to the text on signs, and creating peaceful spaces without excessive sensory stimuli (such as windchimes and spinning objects).

Key Project Team

  • Leslie Spencer, PhD (Principal Investigator)

  • Mahbubur Meenar, PhD (Co-Principal Investigator)

  • Dara LoBuono, PhD (Co-Principal Investigator)

  • Jenna Bottiglieri (Project Coordinator)

Technical Assistance & Consultancy

  • Sonya Harris (Bullock Garden Project, Inc.)

  • Alex Seidel & Brian Pearsall (Backyard Gardens LLC)

This project is part of a larger Inclusive Healthy Communities initiative, funded by the Division of Disability Services, New Jersey Department of Human Services. The $250,000 grant was awarded to the partner organizations of the Family Resource Network, Rowan University, and Stockton University. The goal of this grant is to help communities become more inclusive and welcoming to individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities through a variety of projects. 

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Participating Community Gardens

Atlantic County: 2 gardens

Partner organization:

Communities Revolutionizing Open Public Spaces (C.R.O.P.S)

Camden County: 3 gardens

All three gardens are in the City of Camden

1. The Salvation Army Kroc Center Garden

2. Cooper Sprouts' Community Garden

Workforce & Economic Revitalization for Communities

3. Branch Village Community Garden

Parkside Business & Community in Partnership 

Gloucester County: 2 gardens

1. Glassboro Community Garden

Glassboro Borough

2. Williamstown Organic Community Garden

Sustainable Monroe Township

Photo Courtesy: Williamstown Organic Community Garden, Camden Kroc Center, Glassboro Community Garden

Community Planning + Visualization Lab.g