For 51 years, Earth Day has been celebrated around the world.
This year a new partnership was born when the Intergenerational Garden joined the over members of Chelsea High School’s Arbor Club, Interact, Key Club and the Chelsea Rotary Club to weed, mulch, and plant new trees in the Alumni Arbor as part of an Earth Day event held on April 23, 2021.
More than 30 students, teachers, seniors, and volunteers worked in the Alumni Garden to ready the pollinator garden and the outdoor classroom for spring and to repair the compost bins.
Arbor Club advisor, Shawn Sinacola said that each year students hold a work day around Earth Day and Arbor Day.
“This year to celebrate, we’re using a grant to plant 37 trees that will enclose the outdoor classroom and create a pathway through the Arbor.”
Sinacola added that students are always excited to be outdoors and to learn about the ways they can impact their world.
“Many of the students are here on their asynchronous time, volunteering to make the Chelsea Alumni Arbor a more beautiful place,” she said.
The Alumni Arbor was created in 2017 as a way to celebrate and remember each graduating class at Chelsea High. Alumni from each class, beginning with the class of 1943, donated funds to purchase a tree that was planted in the grassy field in the southwest corner of the high school grounds.
This year, the class of 2021 planted a Honey Locust tree.
Laura Noble, volunteer coordinator for the Intergenerational Garden, said that it was a good opportunity to not only meet teachers Sinacola and Holly Reiser, lead staff for the day’s effort, but to lend a hand and work with the students.
“We’re always looking for ways to fulfill our mission of the generations learning and growing together,” said Noble.
The Intergen Garden, as it’s often called, is a collaboration between Chelsea Senior Center (CSC) and the Chelsea School District. Established in 2012, its mission is to: teach children — including Chelsea School District’s GABIKA campers and preschoolers — about the joys of gardening, make gardening experiences available for seniors, and provide opportunities for multiple generations to enjoy each other’s company.
The garden’s produce is used for cooking classes, the CSC senior nutrition program, and a donation-based community farm stand. It is supported in part by the 5 Healthy Towns Foundation, the Kiwanis Club, the Chelsea Area Garden Club, and other community organizations.
Noble says, as Covid restrictions ease, a goal is to increase participation of youth groups and families in the garden through volunteer opportunities and some special gardening programs about gardening.
“The garden is for people of all ages to come together and learn the beauty and value of growing things.”
For more information or to volunteer, contact Laura Noble at [email protected] or visit www.facebook.com/groups/cscintergenerationalgarden.