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Creating Community Through Gardens

Residents of the new Open Arms Assisted Living facility in the Montbello neighborhood in Denver will be enjoying the bounty of the new garden beds created by Earth Love Gardens. The assisted living facility is geared toward nurturing the mind, body, and spirit of the future residents and the garden beds will play an important role in realizing this vision.

Builders Sonne Shields and Nicholas Breymaier hard at work making the garden beds

Gardening provides many benefits for the health and wellness of individuals, many of those specific to seniors. A CU Boulder study shows that touching soil increases the release of mood-boosting serotonin receptors in the brain and lowers anxiety. Gardening lowers Alzheimer’s and dementia risk, improves immune regulation, and even increases life longevity, studies show. Additionally, it has been found that interaction with nature lowers blood pressure, decreases hospital visits, decreases recovery time from surgery, and generally promotes feelings of rejuvenation and renewal.

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The completed garden beds with height and spacing designed for those in wheelchairs and walkers

Tasked in creating the garden beds, Earth Love Gardens designed the beds specifically for the residents. Many of those gardening will be in wheelchairs and walkers and the height and spacing of the garden beds were designed for utmost mobility and function. At over 1000 square feet, the garden bed area will provide an abundance of room for mobility and growing space. The garden beds will also serve the larger Montbello community. In the future, students of local area schools will be able to assist in the garden experiencing intergenerational interaction with the seniors. These garden beds will serve as inspiration for future projects.

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The new garden beds were already creating community

Earth Love Gardens creates garden beds, hoop houses, and pollinator & edible landscape designs for everything from family homes to community organizations. Our mission is to allow everyone to authentically connect and appreciate the Earth, and, in turn, feel a connection within ourselves and each other. With these garden beds, they are doing just that.

In fact, the following year, the food was so abundant that residents even started their own farmers market! This farmers market directly supports the nonprofit facility, in addition to the goodness and wellness provided for the residents and community when they are tending to the garden.

The Open Arms Assisted Living facility's farmers market with fresh veggies from the gardens!

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