Gardens are one of the best ways to connect people and nature. Hands in the soil, sweaty clothes, bees visiting the flowers you just planted, and the feeling of satisfaction that comes from making a place more beautiful.
I love my job because I help make these connections. This year, Gardens For Life was fortunate to work with the Youth Leaders at Mass Audubon’s Boston Nature Center, planting and maintaining vegetable and butterfly gardens. I also partnered with the Galvin Middle School in Canton, Mass. to plant a pollinator garden. Special thanks to teacher Julie Ghostlaw and landscape architect Amanda Sloan for bringing me into that project!
Before and after photos can communicate physical impact, but asking participants what they’ve learned is illuminating, too. Here are some photos and quotes from the inspiring youth I worked with.
Something I have learned was identifying different trees and weeds. I now can identify some trees in my neighborhood. What I found satisfying was seeing some of the plants start to grow after we planted them.
I learned that I really like gardening, and I will continue doing it in the future.
That “CRUNCH” when the roots break on a particularly large weed is definitely a very satisfying feeling.
My takeaway from this is the calmness of gardening. One thing that was satisfying was watching the garden grow.
Something I learned that will stay with me is that hard work really makes a difference. Through my work [in the gardens] I’ve realized that doing a job right will leave you with something you’d rather have, instead of just doing things sloppy or halfway.
Gardens For Life can help you build and manage outdoor spaces for play and learning, and we love working alongside youth or other community members! Learn more about our services here.