Shattuck sees a project like New Eden as a catalyst for transforming both the faith community and the wider social community. Working together on the garden fosters relationships and trust that ultimate strengthen the community. Successful collaborations, such as New Eden, empower people to feel they can make a difference in their community and their world.
“That sense of efficacy helps counteract the despair that so many people feel as they hear about overwhelming environmental problems and the community ties counter some of the helplessness that accompanies the social isolation that has become endemic to U.S. culture,” she said. “By taking action together, people gain confidence that they can make a difference — they find hope, which then enables them to persevere.”