National Center for Creative Aging and MetLife Explore Intergenerational Gardening at DC Symposium

USBG_art_projectInterested in ideas on how to develop an intergenerational gardening program to engage the local community for your senior housing project?  The National Center for Creative Aging (NCCA) and the MetLife Foundation recently held a symposium entitled “Creativity Matters! Symposium with Focus on Civic Engagement Building Communities Through Intergenerational Gardening” in Washington, DC on April 12, 13 and 14.  The symposium was a gathering of thought leaders who presented workshops and current programs to bridge seniors and the community through intergenerational gardening projects.  The first day of the symposium focused on how to create, develop, sustain and evaluate intergenerational programs in schools, healthcare and community settings. 

"Creative programs such as gardening give seniors the chance to pass on the wisdom and skills gained from a lifetime of experiences while remaining productive and engaged members of society," said Susan Perlstein, M.S.W., the Founder of NCCA and also Director of Special Projects.

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Photos Courtesy of NCCA and Ray Fitzgerald

The second day of the event was held at the United States Botanic Gardens, the oldest botanic garden in North America located near the U.S. Capitol.  Dr. Marianne Krasny, Professor and Chair of the Department of Natural Resources of Cornell University and Director of Mosaics Intergenerational Garden, was the keynote speaker and spoke about the Mosaics program and its efforts to connect youth and elders in community projects with focus on the program’s work with urban gardens in New York City.  Sessions continued into the afternoon and discussed best practices from across the country on how to create communities and promote the added benefits of health through these garden projects.  The afternoon sessions examined initiatives from the Denver Urban Gardens and the The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens.  On the final day of the symposium, participants visited community gardens throughout Washington, DC that included Common Good City Farm, an urban farm and education center which grows food for low-income residents in the District and Meridian Hill Park.

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For more information on the Symposium, visit the NCCA’s Gardening Symposium