Generation Connection - Teaching Garden
Started in 1985, this intergenerational gardening project is designed to connect adults and children through exploration of their mutual interest in life within a garden. Integrated in a community garden, the area offers a myriad of different plants and animals for the young children to discover. The volunteers find creative ways to share their love of gardening with children while learning to see the garden through the eyes of the children themselves. Although there are rules (walk on paths, stay with guide and ask before you pick or taste), the children are mesmerized by the incredible exploratory journey through the garden.
The purpose of this multi-sensory garden experience is to help children make the connection that food comes from the garden and to provide hands-on experience of the life cycles (plant, insect, soil) within it. Volunteers for this project come from the Master Gardeners and the community at large. Teachers sign up their first and second grade classes for garden field trips. Children can benefit by learning to make and enjoy healthier food choices. Adult chaperones are offered information to start a garden and to recognize the resources available to them through the Master Gardeners. As well, volunteers benefit from the opportunity to share something they love with the next generation.