Green Thumb Society Encourages Active Aging

When Active Aging Week was organized by the International Council on Active Aging in 2003, the goal was to pay tribute to the positivity that comes with aging in a healthy, joyful manner. In their own words, the Council believes this designated week “showcases the capabilities of older adults as fully participating members of society and spotlights the role models that lead the way.”

St. John’s is fortunate to have a number of these positive role models whose hard work and talents allow elders to flourish during the latter part of their lives. Holly Powell—therapeutic recreation specialist at St. John’s Home—has been one example of a member of the St. John’s team who can take an idea and run with it to create an experience to impact dozens of elders.

While Green Thumb Society was not an idea she came up with—the credit for that goes to a former groundskeeper at St. John’s Home—Holly has continued to run this program that has been a consistent part of the social calendar for over a decade. The group meets on the first and third Wednesday of each month and helps keep the gardens throughout St. John’s Home looking beautiful. “The society is meant to give elders who have always enjoyed gardening the chance to express that,” explains Holly. “It provides them the opportunity for digging in the dirt, planting, potting, and nurturing flowers.” Occasionally, special guests like Melanie Popick—a master gardener and former dietician at St. John’s Home—are able to provide additional insights into relevant topics.

Although Holly will soon be leaving St. John’s to reunite with her husband Darryl in Florida, Green Thumb Society will continue to be offered through the therapeutic recreation department. 

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