Organization Website Redesigned to Encourage Community Participation

There are 41 community gardens in my neighborhood of the East Village, all united by the Loisaida United Neighborhood Gardens organization- called LUNGS for short. For my senior capstone project, I aimed to rethink how the digital space could attract the next generation of volunteers and members.


UX Research

Interaction Design

Copy Writing


Solo project


Aug 2021 - May 2022
10 months


There are currently over 550 community gardens in New York city, 41 of them can be found in the Lower East Side.

Growing up in Manila, Philippines there were almost no green spaces open to the public. In 2018 I moved to New York for my studies and was instantly drawn to the gardens in my neighborhood despite them often being locked.

This curiosity inspired me to make the community gardens the focus of my undergraduate capstone project.


In 2011, grassroots activists in the Lower East Side created LUNGS, an organization dedicated to uniting community gardens in their neighborhood.


Over the course of 5 months I visited all 41 community gardens in the Lower East Side and East Village. I observed its surroundings state and maintenance using the Natural Environment Scoring Tool (NEST). I ranked the gardens by their accessibility, recreational facilities, public services, amenities, natural features and incivilities.


The state of a garden is a reflection of the neighborhood’s resources and community.


I spoke to around 30 volunteers and visitors which was integral to my research. I asked them how they discovered the gardens, what do they do when they’re here, and if they lived close by.

As a volunteer at the Dias Y Flores, I learned about the garden member’s organizational structure and the ways they manage maintenance responsibilities.

More than a decade later, LUNGS’ are struggling to draw in new members and community participation.

The biggest difference between parks and gardens is that parks are maintained by the government while gardens are solely maintained by volunteers. Most of the funds used to purchase supplies like soil, seeds, and compost comes from garden membership fees and donations.


Use the digital space to attract the next generation of community garden members?


Digital media is the main platform to reach people.

However, the current LUNGS Instagram and website lack a unified identity, are difficult to navigate, and the information is hard to understand.


An easily accessible, unified visual system to exhibit information on the garden’s history, opening hours, and events - all to encourage community participation.


Shareable posts with regular updates on the community gardens opening times and events.


Map of all the community gardens, live story updates on weekend openings.


Educates viewers on the garden's and the grassroots activists who began it all.


Make information on donating as easy as possible as it greatly benefits the gardens.


Select gardens and their unique features would be highlighted to attract visitors.


Shareable posts with regular updates on the community gardens opening times and events.


The users needs should inform the design.

Throughout this project, research remained at the center of my process. It was exciting to meet with volunteers from different gardens in order to have their stories and needs, shape my proposed intervention. Moving forward, I would love to actually apply these strategies to a garden and see if it's able to bring in new people.

Let's have a

© 2024 Kirsten Geiger