Earthwise’s Garden Buddies keeps seniors gardening

It’s no secret that gardening can be therapeutic. There’s something about the feeling of being outside and getting our hands into the soil that stimulates the senses and helps us get in touch with nature.

At the same time, many of us have fond memories of time spent around gardens as a child, gardening alongside a parent or grandparent. Gardening is good for the soul, and gardening with a friend or family member is an ideal way to relax, ward off feelings of loneliness and connect with the outdoors.

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If you have a passion for gardening that you’d like to share with somebody, the Earthwise Garden Buddies program may be just what you’re looking for. Garden Buddies is a gardening together program that reaches out to seniors who live at home and would like to continue gardening for health and enjoyment.

Volunteers are paired up with seniors, and together they will work on new or existing gardening projects at the senior’s home, bond over a common interest and enjoy each other’s company.

Garden Buddies is not a garden service provided by Earthwise; rather the program aims to establish a relationship of trust, knowledge sharing and support as the volunteer and senior collaborate their skills.

Gardening is one of the best activities seniors can do outdoors to revitalize the senses and brighten the mood. It’s an excellent stress reliever and has the added benefit of providing low-impact aerobic exercise, helping seniors to stay flexible.

In return, volunteers gain the opportunity to share knowledge and learn from another generation of gardeners, while helping their buddies stay socially connected and improving their well-being.

“Through this program, volunteers can contribute to their communities by helping seniors continue to live at home and stay independent,” says Patricia Fleming, Earthwise Society’s executive director. “For the seniors, it is a great opportunity to meet new people in their neighbourhood, to stay active and to continue to enjoy gardening.”

Earthwise will train volunteers through several free workshops and gardening sessions at the Earthwise Garden. If you or someone you know wants to get involved, contact Earthwise at info@earthwisesociety.bc.ca or at 604-946-9828.

The Garden Buddies program is funded by the United Way of the Lower Mainland.

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