Gardening with Burlington Seniors - Summer 1980

 BACG History Post #33

The Cathedral Square Senior Housing Project was built in 1977 in downtown Burlington. A thriving Gardens for All community garden had previously been located at the site during 1974 and 1975. 

Megan Humphrey earned a BS degree from the University of Vermont in social work, with a concentration in gerontology. 

Humphrey was hired by Cathedral Square as a Social Worker. Along with checking on residents, she assisted with activities at the new senior housing project. One of the programs was a partnership with Gardens for All to create wheelchair accessible gardens.

Humphrey was already friends with Charlie Nardozzi, a UVM rising senior who worked with Gardens for All during the summer of 1980. Bruce Butterfield of Gardens for All provided technical support for the project. On Thursday evenings, either Nardozzi or Butterfield provided instruction on gardening techniques.

"Putting in gardens was a wonderful and satisfying project," said Humphrey. "Residents were thrilled to be able to have garden space at their new home. Charlie and Bruce were patient, knowledgeable, and we all learned a lot from them. I remember Kathleen Jamison well. She was wheelchair-bound, very enthusiastic and smart, and appreciated having container gardens that she could reach."

Author's note: Megan Humphrey spent her career working with seniors in Burlington. She is the founder and executive director of HANDS (Helping and Nurturing Diverse Seniors).