© Carole Morris-Underhill
O2 students Brandt Eldridge and K.L. McGibbons helped celebrate the revived gardens at Haliburton Place with residents, from left, Melvin Hayes, Donald Sanford and Ida Marie Rose.
Haliburton Place residents have a beautiful, functional garden to enjoy this summer thanks to a little hard work from some neighbourhood teens.
Students attending Avon View High School's O2 and PAL classes spent the past spring sprucing up the gardens and courtyard of the senior’s home — which is an offshoot of the Hants Community Hospital. When the school year came to an end, they celebrated the successful transformation with the residents.
AVHS teacher Sean Connolly said he sees the partnership as a win-win for the students and the residents.
“We hope that they gained an appreciation of how important it is to give back to the community, and also to be able to establish inter-generational relationships with some of the patients at the long-term care facility,” said Connolly.
As well, they learned how to work together as a team.
For the residents, they now have a functional outdoor living space, and plenty of fresh vegetables, like tomatoes, peppers and various herbs, that can be harvested in the fall.
Jo-Ann Zwicker, with the recreation therapy department for Haliburton Place, was pleased to see new life breathed into the courtyard. It had fallen into disrepair after the Friends of Haliburton Place volunteer group disbanded a few years ago.
“Some of the gardens just kind of got away from us, they overgrew, and the tender loving care they were getting was absent,” said Zwicker.
Looking at the landscaped property, and the free-from-vines gazebo, Zwicker said the students put a tremendous amount of effort into cleaning up the property.
“I am absolutely thrilled with the dedication of these students and for the teachers for coming and providing this service to us with our residents,” said Zwicker.
About 25 students took part in the project.