Grace Preschool inspires intergenerational garden

Preschoolers and seniors share their harvest.

From left: Taylor Morgan, Erika Cournoyer, Christopher Smith, and Clara Rabeni show off their dirty hands after planting seeds in the new garden. — Photo by Emma Scudder

This June, with help from Island Grown Schools, Grace Preschool students and teachers worked overtime to get seeds in the ground for a special project: the creation of a new, intergenerational, food-producing garden at the Grace Church rectory in Vineyard Haven.

With school winding down for the year, preschoolers ages three to five years old scrambled to pull weeds, turn over the soil, form planting beds, add compost, and plant seeds. Before school let out for the summer they had successfully planted tomatoes, beans, kale, potatoes, and squash.

Throughout the summer season, members of Grace Church, students from Garden Gate preschool, and residents of Havenside Elderly Housing are tending the garden together. When the students return to Grace Preschool in the fall, they will harvest the garden’s bounty and prepare food to share at a community supper.

This intergenerational garden project at Grace Church is one of several Simple Acts of Stewardship grants that were awarded this year by the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts as a part of its Creation Care Grant Initiative.

This effort is spearheaded by Ann Palches, Vestry member at Grace Church and Grace Preschool Director Penny Wong, with support from Emily Duncker, Preschool Coordinator for Island Grown Schools.

Emily Duncker is the Preschool Coordinator for Island Grown Schools.