Seniors Stay Active At the Spring Creek Recreational Fund’s Urban Garden Classroom

DSC_0874BY AMANDA MOSES

The smell of freshly cut grass and the feeling of the sun’s warmth are just a few reasons seniors should spend their time outside gardening this summer. As an added incentive to staying active, Spring Creek Senior Partners (SCSP) will be hosting a garden club every Wednesday from 1:30 pm to 2:30pm at the Spring Creek Recreational Fund’s (SCRF) Urban Garden Classroom (UGC). SCSP encourages older adults to live healthier lifestyles filled with nutritional diets and exercise routines, said SCSP Director Theodora Ziongas.

One of the many joys of maturity is the ability for seniors to spend time enjoying a relaxing afternoon in the garden. Every week, Garden Educator, Jacqui Roytman will help members of the SCSP Garden Club develop their green thumbs. During their first meeting, Roytman gave a tour of the garden. She described what vegetables and flowers are germinating in the UGC, how to use the water hose (and the importance of watering plants during the sweltering heat), and she asked the seniors what sort of herbs and flowers they would like to grow.

New to the SCSP Garden Club is Bernte Schwarz. “I like being outdoors; I find it relaxing to be around nature. I’m a real environmentalist, so that’s why I joined the Garden Club so I can learn more about planting and helping plants grow,” he said while examining the budding Beefsteak tomatoes.

DSC_0892In addition to showing the seniors around and explaining what tools to use when planting and weeding, Roytman told the seniors that she will show them how to preserve harvested vegetables and conduct an activity called “Garden in a Bag.” The activity involves using a plotting soil bag made of black weed cloth, forming a lightweight and movable garden bed. The seniors will be able to plant herbs, flowers, and vegetables in a leak-proof bag, so that they can place it on a windowsill or anywhere else in their apartment.

Sheila Pinder loved gardening with Roytman so much last year that she decided to return to SCSP’s Garden Club. “I love learning new things, and I want to get out of the house and learn more about the indigenous plants in SCT. Whatever I learn at the garden I will look up more background in the library,” said the Pinder. The club ended their meeting by weeding various parts of the garden in preparation for their next session. Roytman was pleased with seniors’ enthusiasm and inquisitive minds. She said she is excited to spend the summer teaching them how to create and manage a garden.

The Senior Garden Club meets every Wednesday at 1:30 pm in the Spring Creek Recreational Fund’s (SCRF) Urban Garden Classroom (UGC), which is located on Louisiana Avenue behind the F4 building). For more information and to sign-up call 718-348-7620.

Photos by Amanda Moses