2013 NISC Awards: Intergenerational Garden Service Project
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2013 NISC Awards: Intergenerational Garden Service Project

April 10, 2014

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intergenerational garden 250 w

Leadership, Civic Engagement, & Community Development 


Lynnwood Senior Center, Lynnwood, WA


On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, 20 volunteers aged 18 and younger worked side-by-side with 17 Lynnwood Senior Center volunteers building raised beds for a community garden. Participants aged 4 to 90 years old constructed 30 garden boxes intended to offer opportunities for intergenerational pairs of gardeners to grow food together. Twenty-five garden boxes built four feet square and 36 inches tall are set up in a large rectangle with five one-foot high raised beds in the middle. The outer boxes are waist-high, allowing access for people with knee problems or personal scooters, while also offering an easy arm's length reach to the middle of the garden box. The inner boxes’ assignments are currently to a preschool and a Boy Scout troop growing food for the local food bank. The goal of this project, located adjacent to the Lynnwood Senior Center, is to improve wellness, foster intergenerational interaction, increase access to fresh produce for older adults, and provide a much needed service to the larger community. It is Lynnwood's first community garden.

I saw an 80 year-old man show a 16 year-old girl how to use a power tool and knew this was the “why” of the project. Our youth have so much to learn from older adults—and older adults have so much to give. My Grannie taught me how to garden. Many older adults lose their gardens through downsizing or stop working in them due to health issues, so it was important to make the community garden fit the users. This summer, an abundance of beautiful organic food was grown by senior gardeners, in partnership with people of all ages.

Number of Staff/Volunteers Required

37 volunteers to construct boxes, 4 event volunteers for food and support, and 2 staff members to prepare materials and supervise the project.


Revenue: $0; Expense: $5,500; Net: $0


Mary-Anne Grafton
Lynnwood Senior Center
PO Box 5008
Lynnwood, WA


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