In 2012, Éco-quartier NDG launched the Intergenerational Gardening program. The goal of the program is to pair up senior gardeners who have mobility or health problems with youth volunteers interested in learning more about gardening. In essence, the youth volunteer trades his or her labour in exchange for some ‘how-to’ garden mentoring from the senior. We currently have 4 active partnerships going between youth and seniors.

Mrs. D, our first participant, is still participating in the program years later. She is so thankful to have her gardening partner as she cannot manage her garden as well as she used to. Over the years, she and her partners have become friends, sharing books, movies and great conversations.

We had the opportunity to meet Mrs. R. at a green alley presentation. She was mentioning that she might have to give up her plot at local community garden. By chance, a young lady had recently emailed the Éco-quartier NDG as she was hoping to be matched to a senior gardener. We put them in touch and the 2 have been busy gardening all spring. You can bet that their garden plot will have a great yield this year!

These stories show examples of how Intergenerational has the capacity to change lives, in a small but very important way. Thanks to the program, the seniors are able to keep gardening and this activity is great for their health, their social life and their pride. The youths have benefits as well. They have the opportunity to learn about gardening, about someone from another generation and likely learn other things that they might not have expected. If you would like to get involved in the intergenerational program in 2016, please contact the Éco-quartier NDG. *all names have been changed for residents’ confidentiality