In the Spring of 2012 we received the exciting news that we were awarded funding from the United Way Building Stronger Community Food Security Grant to build gardens in childcare centres on the North Shore. In addition, we received funding from Neptune Terminals to build a garden and continue the programming in another childcare centre.
In 2012 we installed gardens in five of the North Shore Neighbourhood House childcare centres. Over 50% of the children attending these childcare centres are from low income families, and they range from ages 0-12 years old. These gardens will help these children achieve better health outcomes and build strong healthy habits over the long term.
Why do you call them Intergenerational Gardens?
We’re connecting people across generations in these gardens – children, young folks, older folks, and everyone in between. There is so much knowledge and experience to be shared between generations, and we think that childcare centres are a fantastic location to foster these relationships and deepen existing community connections.
What do you do at the Gardens?
Edible Garden Project staff work with the North Shore Neighbourhood Childcare staff to engage the children in gardening activities and healthy snacks from the garden. We’re continuing to develop this programming, so if you’re an early childhood educator and would like to be involved – please let us know! The kids get the opportunity to learn the cycles of food production from seed to soil. Unlike school gardens, childcare centres are open year round so these kids get to enjoy the gardens throughout all the seasons. They grow, harvest, prepare, and enjoy the nutritious world of a veggie patch.
How can I get involved?
You can volunteer to join a garden team! You don’t need to be an expert gardener, but comfort around kids is a must. We provide garden training, and do our best to put together teams of volunteers of varied age and skill levels. EGP staff run programming with childcare staff to engage the kids in the garden, and we can provide training if you would also like to participate in these activities with the kids! All volunteers are required to complete an extensive criminal record check (we pay for it), so please contact Emily for the details on this process – emily[at]ediblegardenproject[dot]com.
Where are the Intergenerational Gardens located?
Check out our map - the Intergenerational Gardens are the little blue flag marks.