About Urban and Community Horticulture at Oregon State University

Green wall at Whole foodsThe field of urban and community horticulture includes a number of activities united by one common interest: peoples' interactions with plants.  Those working in the field of urban and community horticulture may study or educate others about:

  • sustainable home and community gardening practices
  • local food systems and community food production
  • urban forestry
  • sustainable landscape design and maintenance
  • school and community gardens
  • Master Gardener Program

Urban and community horticulture is a rapidly evolving field, as more and more researchers, policy makers and the members of the public are beginning to view gardens, parks, and other features of urban landscapes as sites that they can use to promote healthy ecosystems.  This is a huge shift from a few decades ago, when urban areas - including the gardens, parks and other greenspaces that they contained - were generally viewed as detracting from the overall health of an ecosystem.

As urban and community horticulturists, we work to conduct research on the value of greenspaces to environmental and human health and to educate the general public about the research-based best practices for sustainably designing and managing private and public parks and gardens.  Our work includes research and outreach efforts on green roofs, pollinators, pesticides, gardens as education sites, invasive pests, waterwise plants, choosing native plants for your landscape, and many, many other exciting topics.

Does this sound interesting to you?  Explore our research, outreach and education pages, to find out more about our programs.