Port Elgin Regional School strives to give their students a hands-on-learning experience, and one of the ways in which they do so is through their all-season greenhouse. In addition to hands-on experience in horticulture by working in the greenhouse, students also learn about the value of healthy eating by growing fruits and vegetables.
The upkeep of an all-season greenhouse requires significant work and time, especially over the summer months when staff and students are on their summer break. This led to an idea to not only support the school with their greenhouse, but to create an intergenerational connection between the seniors and students in the community of Port Elgin.
Anglophone East School District Experiential Learning facilitated a partnership between Port Elgin Regional School and Nursing Home Without Walls to create the Intergenerational Greenhouse Project. Nursing Home Without Walls is a pilot that provides support for 170 seniors in Southeast New Brunswick and those living along the Acadian Peninsula to allow them to stay in their homes rather than move to a nursing home.
Over the summer months, five seniors volunteered their time at the Port Elgin Regional School Greenhouse working alongside three student volunteers from the school. The project started off slow due to Covid-19 but has been gaining significant momentum.
“In the greenhouse, I learn about gardening. Learning to grow food is important, it makes food fresher and healthier than buying from a store. And we can share with our members from our community.” said one Port Elgin Regional School student. The senior and student volunteers provide food from the greenhouse to the local nursing homes, the local Food Bank, and PEDVAC, a non-profit organization that provides a variety of services to residents of all ages in Port Elgin and surrounding area. This experience helps students value being a volunteer and role model outside of school hours, as well as learning from and connecting with seniors in the community. By working together, they have helped to ensure the success of the greenhouse.
Port Elgin Regional School would like to acknowledge the seniors for their incredible commitment to this project and is looking forward to the growth of the project during the school year. Retired teacher Catherine Glencross says she “plans to be more present in both the greenhouse and the student kitchen where the produce will be used. Working to grow food, preparing, and sharing it with their community will help to grow stewards of the Earth and caring global citizens”. For more information on experiential learning opportunities in New Brunswick, interested employers and students can check out more success stories at