Welcome to the February feature of Wintering with City Green! Each month this winter we're taking a deep dive into a City Green department to learn more about what they do. Explore their programs, join us at their workshops, learn how they plan for the upcoming season, and so much more! Follow along this month on our website, social media, and newsletter as we explore the Department of Community Horticulture!
What is Community Horticulture at City Green?
The Community Horticulture Department includes all City Green programs that use gardens and horticultural practices to improve quality of life for both individuals and communities. Within this department, City Green manages multiple educational flower and vegetable gardens, hosts after-school and summer programs for youth, funds and supports community garden and greening efforts across Passaic County, and hosts therapeutic horticulture programs for all ages. By participating in community horticulture programs, people benefit from garden-based learning, are able to take part in growing their own food, experience the restorative benefits of green spaces, and cultivate a deeper relationship to their neighbors and spaces where they live.
Older Adult Workshops in our Community
One way the Department of Community Horticulture provides access to gardens and horticultural practices is through older adult workshops. Several times per month, City Green’s Community Garden Coordinator Carmen visits Senior Centers in Paterson to provide workshops that either focus on nature-based crafts using materials from our native gardens or seasonal recipes using veggies grown at our farms. From building beautiful bouquets, creating DIY herbal tea blends, cooking up a carrot beet salad, or even visiting the Farm Eco-Center for an apple cider workshop, every workshop provides a different, unique, seasonal experience.
All of our workshops are held at senior centers in our community like Paterson Adult Day Center, Governor Towers of Paterson, and Paterson Adult Day Care. By bringing the garden right to their tables, older adults are able to engage with nature in an accessible way. Engaging in these workshops provides older adults with the opportunity to socialize with each other, express creativity, explore a sensory experience, share their own wisdom, engage their fine motor skills, and access nature right in their own community.
“Facilitating older adult workshops has been a special experience because it continues to show me how important it is for everyone to have a sense of community and belonging,” Carmen shared. “They are a population that is often overlooked and with each center I visit I see how hard the social workers and aids work to make them feel seen and appreciated. I love seeing the older adults work as a team and the best part of the workshops Is hearing them talk about their favorite recipes or how the ingredients within a cooking workshop reminds them of someone they knew or a meal they had as a child.”
Want to learn more about City Green’s older adult workshops? Follow us on Instagram for a behind the scenes look at how we bring these workshops to life. If you have any questions for our Community Horticulture team, leave a comment down below and we’ll be happy to get back to you!
City Green is a 501(c)3 urban farming and gardening organization based in Clifton, New Jersey working to foster connections between communities, agriculture, and the environment. For more information about City Green, visit www.citygreenonline.org.