Protecting Community Gardens: How LiveView Technologies (LVT) is helping a nonprofit in Provo, Utah protect its community gardens
The Challenge: Thieves and trespassers were causing problems for community gardeners, and the Community Action Services and Food Bank needed a low-cost solution that would patrol the site 24/7.
The Results: Since the camera was deployed by LVT, the garden has had zero instances of theft or trespassing.
The Community Action Services and Food Bank in Provo, Utah is a nonprofit with multiple programs that help combat poverty, but one of their programs is growing. Literally.
In 2008, the Community Action Services and Food Bank started their Community Garden Program. Originally, it began with only one location but has expanded over the years to include four separate locations around the city. “We provide a low-cost garden opportunity for anyone in the community,” said Hillary Whittaker, the Volunteer Coordinator and Community Garden Manager. Whittaker described that the goal of the garden is to promote self-reliance while reducing family food budgets and beautifying the neighborhood.
For a small fee of $20, anyone in the community can rent a small plot that they get to manage. The renter does all of their own planting, watering, weeding, harvesting, and other maintenance. “We provide the land, water, and some basic gardening tools,” Whittaker said. “From donation, we also have seeds we are able to give out as well.” Some families and friends will come together to rent a plot and any extra food is donated to the food bank.
Recently, the gardens have started struggling with trespassing and theft. Whittaker described how one gardener lost all of their watermelons to theft and that, “people [have been] wandering through the garden at all hours of the night…One gardener even found a child sleeping in the garden.” The thefts and trespassing started to make the renters uncomfortable when they came to tend to their plots. “When I was told about these issues,” said Whittaker, “I knew we needed to do something to fix [it].”
Whittaker knew that it was impossible to pay for and post a guard at the gardens 24/7, so she knew that, “having a camera onsite was ideal.”
Thanks to an internal connection, Whittaker was introduced to LiveView Technologies who deployed a single Omni unit mounted on a mobile trailer that was set up in minutes. It required no construction, heavy setup, or hardwire connections. Instead, the camera is mounted on a 22-foot mast, powered through solar panels, connects wirelessly through cellular connectivity, and has full views of the garden. The live feed from the camera can be accessed at any time from any device.
The gardens have been a different place since the camera was deployed. According to Whittaker, there have been zero thefts or trespassers since the camera was set up. “Having the camera gives a sense of security to our gardeners while they are at the location,” Whittaker said.
“One of my favorite features is that this [system runs] off of solar power and I am able to see every direction of the garden. It has also been fun to see how much has changed and grown since the camera was put in,” said Whittaker.