COMMUNITIES LOOKING TO DEVELOP GARDEN PROGRAMS THAT BRING GENERATIONS TOGETHER

EVENT PROVIDES TRAINING TO COMMUNITIES LOOKING TO DEVELOP GARDEN PROGRAMS THAT BRING GENERATIONS TOGETHER

Washington, DC – February 19, 2010 – The National Center for Creative Aging (NCCA) announces that it will be holding its latest NCCA-MetLife Foundation Creativity Matters! Symposium with Focus on Civic Engagement Building Communities Through Intergenerational Gardening in Washington, DC on April 12, 13 and 14.

“This symposium will feature workshops and best-practice programs designed to bring together older and younger people through gardening,” said Susan Perlstein, M.S.W., the Founder of NCCA and also Director of Special Projects. “Intergenerational programs bring generations together to learn, create and promote awareness, acceptance and understanding. Creative programs such as gardening give seniors the chance to pass on the wisdom and skills gained from a lifetime of experiences while remaining productive and engaged members of society.”

The Monday, April 12 workshop will be led by Perlstein, who is also the Founder of Elders Share the Arts and a Presidential award-winner for Intergenerational Programming. This primer event will be held at IONA Senior Services, recently named a “Center for Excellence in Dementia Care” by the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, the only day center on the East Coast to receive this distinction. The training will focus on how to create, develop, sustain and evaluate intergenerational programs in schools, healthcare and community settings.

Tuesday, April 13 will feature a full-day workshop at the renowned United States Botanic Gardens, the oldest botanic garden in North America located at the foot of the U.S. Capitol.  The day will begin with keynote speaker, Dr. Marianne Krasny, Professor and Chair of the Department of Natural Resources, Director of the Civic Ecology Lab, and Principal Investigator of Garden Mosaics, Cornell University.  After that, a panel discussion will highlight three groundbreaking best-practice programs from across the country that teach generations how to create beautiful communities together and promote the benefits of health through a lifetime of exercise and good nutrition. The second half of the day will feature breakout sessions led by gardening experts on how to unite generations through accessible gardening techniques, including container gardens and garden beds, which can be replicated in various settings.

Wednesday, April 14 will focus on civic engagement and community involvement as symposium participants, volunteers and community members put the knowledge they have gained into action by visiting and working in several gardens during the height of Washington, DC’s spring season. The gardening sessions will take place at the Common Good City Farm, Washington Parks & People, and the US Arboretum’s Washington Youth Garden.

“MetLife Foundation is pleased to support this initiative, which will help build strong communities through creative activities designed to bridge the gap between generations,” said Dennis White, president and CEO, MetLife Foundation.

To register, visit www.creativeaging.org or call (202) 895-9456.

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