A Silver Lining For Our City Nature
- Mar 05 2021
Inclusive Gardening at Kampung Senang
Inclusive gardening is our response to the Silver Tsunami hitting our shores. By 2030, Singapore will have the third highest life expectancy in the world and one in four Singaporeans will be over 65. While the government has been taking the lead in making buildings, public places, and public transportation barrier free and accessible to those with physical and sensory challenges, we are taking the initiative in making community gardens more accessible and inclusive to everyone – especially for our silver haired and those with disabilities.
The joy of gardening for everyone
The physical limitations of people who are wheelchair bound or visually impaired, or those who have reached the age where bending over and squatting is difficult, prevent them from experiencing the joy of gardening. Kampung Senang’s Inclusive Garden was created with these people in mind. The inclusive garden is a place for someone who loves to commune and engage with the natural elements, to participate and witness the wondrous way in which nature combines the sun, soil, seeds and water to bring forth flowers, fruits, and vegetables.
Gardening while being comfortably seated
In designing our inclusive garden, we have ensured that it has sufficient space for wheelchairs to maneuver and turn around. The garden consists of raised planter boxes with beds of soil and coconut husks. People can easily access and work with soil, manicure plants and harvest fruits and vegetables while seated in their wheelchairs or chairs. Seated gardening also allows us to include those who tire easily or have problems standing for any length of time.
Carefully chosen plants that stimulate the senses
To ensure that the plants are within reach of seated gardeners, only smaller compact varieties of plants have been chosen. We have chosen plants that are colorful, fragrant, and textured – characteristics that will bring joy to our visual, olfactory and tactile senses. We have deliberately focused on fruits, herbs and vegetables that can also be eaten to contribute to national food sufficiency.
Loving guidance to build empathy and green hands
Volunteers who have undergone horticultural training will be there to orientate and provide loving guidance to gardeners. They have been trained to care, build empathy, and provide a listening ear. The weekly gardening sessions will be followed by light vegetarian dinner.
For younger Singaporean, the inclusive garden is a social space where they can mingle with the silver generation, the physically disabled, and the visually impaired. It is a platform for blending the vibrance, energy and creativity of our youth with the experience, perspective, and wisdom of the elderly. It is our hope that our inclusive gardens will contribute to adding a silver lining to our garden city. Who is aiming towards a city in Nature by 2030.