Community Input is King

Grow It Green Morristown’s project is to conduct a food and physical activity environment assessment for underserved areas of Morristown. We feel that by getting the neighborhoods’ input on what their needs and wants are for the community, our efforts will be much better focused, and we’ll be better equipped to help meet those needs and help our community get healthier. We also feel that conducting the assessment itself will be a valuable tool for starting the conversation about healthier lifestyles in our local neighborhoods.

The empty lot before the Early Street Community Garden was established.

The empty lot in the neighborhood before our Early Street Community Garden was established.

The lot after the Early Street Community Garden was established.

The lot after our Early Street Community Garden was established.

One of the main tools for completing this assessment will be a survey that we distribute to clients of our partner groups in social services. We know many communities have conducted food or physical environment surveys across the country — we are certainly not the first. Rather than reinvent the wheel, we are researching other high-quality surveys across the country to use as models for our survey. We have the difficult task of walking the fine line between getting robust data from the survey and ensuring that it’s short and simple enough that people will want to complete it. We also need to ensure that the questions are locally relevant, so we will work with our partner groups to develop the survey and make sure it is appropriate for their audiences. We know that the results of a survey are only as good as the questions in it, so we are taking time to craft the right questions for this part of the project.

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