If yes, provide organization name.
Hammond Street Senior Center
Please tell us more about how these partnerships are critical to the success of your innovation.
The University of Maine Office of Cooperative Extension is advising our members on planning, planting, etc. Another UMaine professor also with Cooperative Extension is scheduled to provide a workshop open to all area seniors on food preservation and food safety as part of our related Garden Summer Speakers Series.
A restaurateur is teaching cooking. Local nutritionists and nursery managers are also being contacted to speak at workshops. Employees of Martin's Point HealthCare are given paid-time off to volunteer assisting us with preparing healthy lunches and other related program activities. Several members have already committed to donating such items, also.
Many of the towns in which our members reside will be helpful with posting information and getting the word out to their seniors about activities like the rooftop garden tours, vegetarian lunches and related workshops that we will be providing.
What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization?
Because this rooftop garden is such a complete and natural expression of the senior center’s mission in action and has originated from the membership itself, the three most important actions to grow our organization and our rooftop garden initiative are the same:
1) Continued and expanded leadership development opportunities and support and facilitation of volunteerism among our current members;
2) Continued and expanded outreach and networking among community allies and prospective new members; and
3) Reflective evaluation to ensure associated programs such as the lunches, informational workshops, possible cooking classes and the like are responsive to the needs and desires of our membership and provide an unparalleled service to the senior community at large within the Greater Bangor Region.
We understand that this is one of the sections in which many organizations emphasize the need for securing funding and that we did not list that among our top three actions or even in our "criteria for success" response. Of course the availability of funds is crucial to launching and maintaining innovations such as this. Our belief is that if we have a quality program that is well executive, serves a need valued and recognized by our community, and provides a benefit not otherwise obtainable then the needed resources, materials and money will come. How we ensure our fundraising is successful is by first ensuring that our community is successful. In the context of the Hammond Street Senior Center "successful" means that seniors in the Greater Bangor Region are able to create a healthy and satisfying aging experience for themselves.
The key to growing the rooftop garden initiative, growing the Hammond Street Senior Center, changing how society relates to seniors, and changing how seniors experience aging all come from the actions of supporting seniors' development as leaders in this stage of their lives; honoring their experiences and expertise as volunteers; generating recognition within the broader community for their contributions; facilitating external support for their efforts and ambitions; and respectfully listening and responding to the needs and desires they identify for themselves...and that means if seniors really want to grow their own tomatoes and the only land they can access is our roof, then we figure out how to garden on the roof.