A community garden that brings seniors, teens, and children together in an outdoor classroom setting is one of six entries nationwide in the Scott’s Gro for Good social media contest.
The Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Katzie Seniors Network’s Intergenerational Garden was first chosen to receive a grant valued at $2,500 to help them continue to develop sustainable gardens and greenspaces in the community.
Now the garden is eligible to win an extra $2,500 in the social media contest that requires people to like, share, or comment on a video about the garden online.
The video features Intergenerational Garden coordinator Makenna Patrick.
“An ecosystem is a geographic region where plants animals and other living organisms work together with weather and landscape in order to form a bubble of life. In Maple ridge, British Columbia, you will find a very special bubble of life called the Intergenerational Garden,” she says in the video.
Patrick describes the garden as an oasis of calm hidden in the inner city core.
At the Intergenerational Garden, seniors and other adult volunteers teach students how to grow vegetables, herbs, flowers, and berries. The food that is grown goes back to the students and seniors, but a large amount is also donated to the Friends In Need Food Bank through the Grow a Row program.
It was constructed at the corner of Edge Street and 121st Avenue in 2012 by the Seniors Network after receiving a $24,750 grant from New Horizons for Seniors, with cooperation from the school district and the City of Maple Ridge.
The garden was almost forced to close in March of 2020 because of a lack of funding and put out a plea in January of that year for help.
Donors came forward to help with costs and in 2021 the Ridge Meadows branch of Envision Financial donated $5,000 to fund the garden another year.
More than 400 elementary school students learn from about 30 senior volunteers about where their food comes from every year.
The garden is a place where members of the community of all ages can grow a variety of vegetables, fruits, and flowers, said Patrick.
“And most importantly – relationships,” she added in the video.
So far the video has garnered 61 likes and loves, 61 shares, and 23 comments.
“The Intergenerational Garden in Maple Ridge is where seniors come together with teachers and their students to share the complex information of growing food. It is an amazing project,” said Christian Cowley, executive director of the CEED Centre in Maple Ridge.
Leanne Koehn with Ridge Meadows Recycling Society described the garden as a fantastic community initiative.
“So much to learn and enjoy while gardening and the connection between seniors & youth is wonderful,” she said.
“The Intergenerational Garden is such an amazing place for my students to learn each week! Visiting the garden is definitely one of our weekly highlights in the classroom,” said local teacher Meghan Easler.
Gro for Good is put on by Scotts Canada Ltd. to support green space solutions that improve communities across Canada, and to help protect and grow, “our collective connection to nature, to the environment and to each other.”
The Gro for Good social media video contest runs until Tuesday, Oct. 4.
To vote go to facebook.com/gromoregoodca.
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