Seasons’ Community Gardens Grow Passion and Purpose
Community gardens are becoming more common because they provide several functions that society values. They are not only where people come together to grow goodness; these gardens enhance educational opportunities, encourage health benefits, and ease food waste. Studies show that seniors who tend to a garden are less likely to feel depressed or suffer from sleeplessness, as just five minutes spent in nature is proven to create a positive outlook.
In honour of Earth Day on April 22, Seasons Retirement Communities is restoring its Community Gardens program. Seasons aims to partner with local schools and recruit student volunteers to support building an outdoor vegetable and herb garden. Then, its residents are empowered to “plant the seeds” of connection by sharing their passion and purpose with new gardeners.
This program has some significant benefits, particularly resident enrichment through multi-generation bonding, relationship-building of key community partners, and environmental benefits such as nurturing a connection with nature, cutting carbon emissions, and building an ecosystem for birds and insects.
The additional perks also include the following:
Health & Wellness.
Humans have more in common with shrubbery than we think! People, like the plants we grow, need regular sunlight to support our overall health and wellness, contributing to happier aging. Sunlight provides 70% to 80% of the vitamin D your body needs, but its real superpower is helping to build and maintain bone and muscle strength, which is crucial for seniors who may be more concerned about an increased risk of falls or fractures.
People who cultivate their food also increase their intake of garden-grown goods, improving their eating habits. Growing and harvesting fresh vegetables, herbs, and fruits makes a mentally-enriching hobby even more appealing. The significant benefit for seniors, who are at a greater risk of nutritional deficiencies, is the self-sufficiency that gardening allows. This rich source of nourishment is an easy and low-cost way to access natural produce and plants.
Gardening is a great excuse to get some much-needed physical exercise. Digging, pruning, and pulling work out muscles and helps increase strength, stamina, and flexibility. Regular moderate-intensity activity like this has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of morbidity in people with cardiovascular disease. For seniors with lower mobility, gardening ensures they can stay active safely while using ergonomically appropriate tools that are easier on their joints.
Community gardens provide vibrant and comprehensive green spaces where people grow their goods and connect with other gardening enthusiasts. The inclusivity of having a community green space allows seniors to share in the gardening culture and build a sense of community, offering a place for social interaction and collaboration while supporting their psychological health and well-being. Cultivation is an excellent way to engage people with similar interests and swap gardening tips and tricks over a friendly conversation.
Connecting with nature is vital to seniors’ mental health and well-being. Many think of gardening as a therapy and a solution to the stress of everyday life. Horticulture helps improve sleep and increase self-esteem, promoting inner peace and providing self-expression opportunities.
If you want additional information about Seasons Community Gardens, please click the Locations tab on our website and contact one of our Fun Managers. As a self-proclaimed grateful nature lover and avid gardener, Seasons resident Janet shared, “The happiness and contentment walking its path is priceless. I give thanks each day for the privilege of our garden at Seasons”.