Can a community garden be an intergenerational opportunity?

The answer is, of course, “certainly”!

Newport, a rural town in Vermont, has discovered that a community garden that initially was created to provide additional food sources to its lower income residents (25% of whom are 65 and older) has became a unique opportunity for interaction between generations.

market_vegetables_foodIn a recent AARP Livable Communities newsletter, community advocate and economic development specialist Patricia Sears related how the town’s community garden has become that intergenerational experience. In the Newport Community Garden, younger people performed the manual labor– that is to say, the digging and weeding–while older people in the community grew the seeds in their homes over the winter. Seniors with farming experience also instructed kids on how to care for the plants.

In this way, generations worked together to create food that all could eat. Volunteers received a bag of vegetables distributed based on contribution, and leftover food was donated to the local Meals on Wheels and senior meal sites as well as to community food shelves, several schools and a local adult day care center. Ms. Sears is convinced that through this community gardening experience, a “pride has developed in the neighborhood, and the people are taking care of one another.”

Could a community garden in your town provide another opportunity for intergenerational interaction? For more information, visit the online AARP feature article or contact Bridges Together at

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