Survey finds neighborhood support for community gardens in ‘Tot Lot’ park

SNA tot lot

A public opinion survey conducted by SNA in collaboration with the City of Providence Parks Department shows widespread support for community gardens being included in a proposed renovation of the “Tot Lot” public park at the corner of Ninth Street and Summit Avenue.

The renovation plan, developed by landscape architect Megan Gardner of Gardner+Gerrish Landscape Architects of Providence, calls for a major overhaul of the dated park with upgrades that include shade sails, benches, tables, trees, additional swings, a trike path, toddler-friendly play structures, and more. However, some neighbors were concerned about the inclusion of a garden in the park, and so the survey was commissioned to gauge the overall community response to such an addition.

The survey shows 80.8 percent of the 177 respondents “in favor of the renovation project as proposed,” which includes garden plots. Conversely, 13.0 percent were “in favor of the renovation project but without a community garden,” and 6.2 percent were “not in favor of this renovation project” at all.

In addition to the favorable response, 71 people indicated an interest in having a garden plot, which is already more than the number of spaces available.

The survey, which ran from June 13 to July 12, 2013, was publicized by posters in the tot lot, an article in the SNA newsletter delivered to the neighborhood, handouts at the farmers market in Lippitt Park, on Facebook and on the SNA listserv.

At the request of community members, the survey also sought to gauge how many of the respondents use the park and how the renovations might change their future usage. According to the survey report, “74 percent of respondents indicated that they use the park at least occasionally with the highest response being ‘frequent’ users. However, many respondents who don’t currently use the park indicated they would use the park more often after the renovation. In fact, 41.2 percent of all respondents said they would use the park ‘much more often,’ while only 11.9 percent of respondents indicated they would use the park less often or not at all after the renovation.”

The survey in its entirety, including all of the comments and suggested changes from respondents opposed to the plan as well as those in favor of it, are included on this web site at this link:

SNA Tot Lot Survey Results [PDF]

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