ESI guest post: Making gardening accessible for everyone
This is a guest post from Mitali, a 2022 Environmental Stewardship Institute (ESI) fellow. ESI fellows design and carry out a capstone project during a six-week summer program. Mitali created an informational video about making gardening and community gardens more accessible. (Note: Opinions expressed in ESI projects are those of the program participant and do not necessarily represent those of FMR.)
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For my final project, I did research on accessibility issues in gardening. I compiled all the helpful tips and advice I found into an informational video.
You can watch it here:
Why I chose this project
I chose this project because inaccessibility is a huge issue, especially in gardening, something that's meant to be for everyone. I wanted to create a video because it's a format that can work for a lot of different people, no matter what they need.
What I hope you take away
Inaccessibility can be found everywhere, and it's not right. Gardening is an activity that is important for everyone and can help people in recovery or people who need a therapeutic activity to do. But somehow it's been twisted so that the people it's supposed to benefit are being left out.
I think it's important to recognize inaccessibility in gardening. It can show up everywhere, from too-narrow garden store aisles that don't allow wheelchair users into the store, to potting soil and other tools that are just too expensive. We have to recognize that and spread awareness about it where we can.
FMR created the Environmental Stewardship Institute to address the gap between environmental education and a career path in the environmental field. We hold a summer intensive program and a school-year youth advisory council. Learn more about the 2022 ESI summer program, including other final projects.