Seniors who are interested in exercising their green thumb and taking part in a project that will benefit the whole community may find community gardening an attractive choice. There are many community gardens in the St. Louis area that are never too far from a Bethesda community.
Finding a Garden
Gateway Greening is a large non-profit organization that has numerous locations around the St. Louis area for people to come and garden together. Here are community gardens in areas close to some Bethesda communities:
- Kellog Park Community Garden (Clayton near Bethesda Barclay House)
- Webster-Rock Hill Ministries (Webster Groves near Bethesda Orchard and Bethesda Dilworth)
- Twillman House Community Garden (Spanish Lake near Village North Retirement Community)
- Cliff Cave Community Garden (Oakville near Bethesda Terrace and Southgate/Charless Village)
Stay Safe While Gardening
As the warmer summer months approach, seniors need to take extra care to remain safe in the heat. Wear a hat and other protective clothing when outside and continually apply sunscreen. If you can, try to work earlier in the day when the sun is low. Make sure to remain hydrated and follow gardening safety tips:
- Wear gardening gloves to reduce the risk of cuts and irritations
- Only use tools that are easy to handle and use
- Make sure vaccinations are up-to-date, especially tetanus
Benefits of Community Gardens
People who come together to work towards a common goal helps build communities. Participating in a community garden will allow seniors to:
Mental & Physical Exercise
Gardening exercises not only the body, but the mind. Growing a variety of plants like vegetables and flowers:
- Helps prevent the onset of dementia and alleviates symptoms
- Reduces stress
- Provides a social outlet
Be Part of a Community
By coming together with those with similar interests, seniors will feel included in the community. People who feel part of a community lead happier and healthier lives.
Connect With Youth
Connecting with youth benefits both youth and seniors. Intergenerational communication is important for the betterment of younger generations and the care of seniors. Bringing these two age groups together in a positive way will make both groups more receptive to projects to make their community a better place to live.
Opportunities to participate in community gardening continue throughout the spring, summer and fall. If you choose to pursue one of these options, have fun!