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Gardening in a Sand Lot

[Photo 1: Greenbrier Section 202 seniors gardening in their new garden]
Greenbrier Section 202 seniors gardening in their new garden

What can you do with an unused sand lot at a senior housing project? One choice would be to green things up a bit and turn it into a garden. At the Greenbrier Senior Housing Complex in Rupert, West Virginia they did just that and it has been a great success.

Working with local businesses that donated plants, helped design the gardens, and assist the tenants, the Greenbrier seniors have created their own oasis complete with raised garden beds of varying sizes. The paths of the garden are wheel chair accessible to enable the tenants during their gardening times or times when they wish to just relax in the garden or hold other social activities. The tenants have planted fruit trees, berry bushes, flowers, and vegetables. Some tenants have discovered they are better at raising certain vegetables as opposed to others, and they trade vegetables with each other along with family and friends and in turn have created a type of cooperative.

[Photo 2: A view of the Greenbrier garden]
A view of the Greenbrier garden

The garden at Greenbrier is just one example of how quality of life can be enhanced at a HUD-funded senior citizen development. HUD's Section 202 program is designed to expand the supply of affordable housing with supportive services for the elderly. It provides very low-income elderly with options that allow them to live independently but in an environment that provides support activities such as cleaning, cooking, transportation, and access to technology.

In the case of Greenbrier's seniors the garden has become more than just a place to raise plants - it has become a gathering place to have cook outs and sing-alongs, and a place for the tenants to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery of their hard work. Not a bad way to use a former sand lot.

Content Archived: March 21, 2011

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