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Community in Bloom

May 10, 2022

The Lasell University community came together on Earth Day this year for an intergenerational project: revitalizing an on-campus garden.

Community members participate in an intergenerational garden planting activityStudents, faculty, staff, Lasell Village residents, and Lasell’s youngest learners at the Holway Early Childhood Centers (The Barn) pitched in to fix the garden beds and plant new seedlings. The project was spearheaded by Angela Buonocore ’22 in partnership with Lasell Village and the Lasell Student Government Association (SGA).

The intergenerational community garden came to fruition as a fortuitous collision of great ideas. Residents at Lasell Village and members of SGA brought plans to resurrect the garden to Lasell’s senior management team in the fall, while Buonocore simultaneously developed a plan with School of Health Sciences Dean Cris Haverty to revitalize the space as part of her spring biology internship. President Michael B. Alexander brought all parties together to collaborate on the growing community project. Haverty hopes to further Buonocore’s work by offering the internship opportunity to future biology students.

Community members participate in an intergenerational garden planting activity“It was a big team effort and it turned out beautifully,” says Buonocore, who has a strong interest in plant biology and used the project as a means to further her knowledge in the field. She worked with Jennifer Huntington, a Lasell Village resident, to plan the Earth Day activity and strategically select plants for the garden (with an eye for vegetables that the Holway kids could pick on site and add to their daily meals).

“One of the great benefits of group gardening is interacting with others, and on Earth Day, we were able to connect four generations on one project,” says Huntington. She worked with Caroline Schastny, another Village resident, to recruit volunteers at the Village to help on Earth Day and participate in ongoing care of the garden.

“The level of sharing materials and working together, from the youngest to the oldest participants, was what this experience was all about,” says Schastny. “We hope that this project will carry over to next year with even more components. This was just the first phase.”