Written by Jenny Smiechowski, staff writer for The Birches
Residents of The Birches Assisted Living’s memory care neighborhood Encore kicked off National Garden Week by combining three of their favorite hobbies: art, gardening and giving back.
With the help of Encore Resident Assistant Terry Dutkovich, residents took old cans destined for the dump or recycling facility and turned them into beautiful pots for local children to plant in.
First, residents painted the cans. Then, Dutkovich taught them decoupage, a form of art where you glue paper cutouts onto objects. Residents, of course, used a garden theme for their cans, decorating them with plants, flowers, butterflies and bugs.
After the decorating was finished, Dutkovich, who’s a member of the Garden Club of Downers Grove, brought the cans to the Gregg House Museum in Westmont where the garden club held an ice cream social and garden party on June 3 for National Garden Week.
To spread the gardening bug to the next generation, the garden club gave children who attended the event the opportunity to get their hands dirty. Each child received a plant and one of the cans Encore residents decorated to plant it in.
In the end, Dutkovich said the project was not only a great way to celebrate National Garden Week, but a great way to bring joy and positivity to Encore residents and the larger community.
“Residents were socializing. They were doing something creative. They were giving back in a small way. And they were preventing something from just sitting around in the garbage or just rolling down the street. It was a win-win for everybody,” said Dutkovich.
Residents in The Birches’ Encore and Assisted Living neighborhoods will continue celebrating National Garden Week this week by getting their gardening gloves on and enjoying one of The Birches many garden spaces. If you love gardening or simply spending time outdoors, head to your garden or a nearby natural space and soak in the beauty of the growing season in the Midwest. Happy National Garden Week!
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