Partnership brings generations togetherby Holly Heller on July 31, 2015
A simple garden plot has helped bring generations together, according to Jessica Britton, unit director of the Boys & Girls Club of Bremen. “We’re so thankful that our kids get to come down and have this experience. It’s a nice generational thing,” she said. “We’re thankful for The Whitlock.”
According to Administrator Steve Wirgau, The Whitlock has been offering 10x10-foot garden plots to the community since 2012. “The main purpose is to involve The Whitlock with the Bremen community,” Wirgau said. “Overall, more people from the community will know about The Whitlock, and then they will understand what we are all about.”
The Boys & Girls Club started a garden in one of the plots this spring. “Teaching gardening to children is real important, it shows them some of the basics of life,” Wirgau said. Through the process of growing green beans, tomatoes, cucumbers and green peppers, the kids have learned many lessons. “We teach them why we weed, why we water, the process of keeping the garden alive,” Britton said. “We also hope this sparks excitement and inspires them to garden with their families at home.”
Britton said teamwork is one of the most important lessons learned. “It’s been a great experience working together as a team to make something successful.” The kids enjoy their visits to the garden several times a week. “It’s super fun,” said Armando Flores, age 9. “I like when they grow and you start to get picking them. I like tomatoes.” Keely Kovach, age 12, has a passion for gardening.
“I like weeding, picking … everything about it!”
In addition to working in the garden, the children visit with residents of The Whitlock once each week to play games like dominoes, checkers and cards. “The kids have enjoyed hearing stories from the residents about what life was like when they were kids,” Britton said. Wirgau said the feeling is mutual. “The residents enjoy talking with the kids,” he said.
Kids from the Boys & Girls Club of Bremen work together to weed their garden plot at The Whitlock.