Year Round Community Garden
Created October  4, 2011 by Kim Shaw
Kings Way Care Centre is a 75-bed long term care facility situated in the Kennebecasis Valley of New Brunswick.
As a faith based not for profit organization caring for adults challenged by age and/or disability, we believe everyone deserves to have quality of life – to be happy, content and fulfilled. People are generally happier and healthier when they are able to continue with their everyday life and contribute to their family and community. It is our mission every day for those individuals living in our facility to be able to enjoy life just as we do every day.
Being part of a rural community, many of the residents living at our facility were once avid gardeners. Due to their health conditions, they are no longer able to garden they way they used to; however still enjoy digging in the earth. For many, gardening brings back memories of childhood, of days on the farm, of sweating in the hot sun to bring home the harvest for the family to enjoy.
Creating an all season wheelchair accessible greenhouse at our facility would give the residents an opportunity to continue to do something that they so much enjoyed in their younger years. As well, a year round greenhouse would provide an opportunity to invite avid gardeners to come and work the soil with our residents during the long winter months.
The greenhouse structure will be built on an existing patio and equipped with wheelchair accessible potting benches, watering system, gardening tools, pots, potting soil and seeds.
The greatest impact will be in the improvement in the quality of life of the residents living in our facility. Having this activity available to those who enjoy gardening will help reduce the boredom, loneliness and helplessness that many feel when living in a nursing home. Gardening will help nurture their soul and bring a sense of accomplishment and contribution to the community around them.
As well, the participation from the community gardening clubs and volunteers would offer stimulation, joy and new friendships.
The benefits from the use of the greenhouse will reach 75 residents, their families, approximately 50 volunteers, gardening clubs, many individuals from our nearby community as well as approximately 400 future residents and families.
**Likelihood of Success**
Presently, the space is used only in the summer months. At that time it is enjoyed immensely by residents who take “ownership” of their own planters. The likelihood of success is immense.
**Longevity and Sustainability**
Once the initial cost of launching the greenhouse has been achieved, the cost of maintenance will be minimal. Participation and donations from local nurseries, volunteers and garden clubs will provide for on-going supply needs.