Scott McMullin is the president of Villages of San Mateo County (VSMC). Villages of San Mateo County is a nonprofit based off of Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood model of neighbors helping neighbors. It offers services and community events for older local residents in San Mateo County ranging from offering rides to the grocery store to social gatherings over Zoom. VSMC is  built off of the hub and spoke model, with the bigger nonprofit acting as the hub for the two existing spokes: Sequoia Village and Mid-Peninsula Village. The nonprofit acts as an invaluable resource for aging members of the community. Recently, VSMC has connected with Each Green Corner and many wonderful residential gardens for aging-in-home seniors are being built and planned within the community as a result!

With the onset of COVID-19, Each Green Corner was introduced to Villages of San Mateo County as a source of potential volunteers by the Community Foundation of San Carlos. According to an interview with Scott McMullin, “it was a natural partnership.” Older people often have space for vegetable gardens or are unable to continue tending to their own garden for various reasons and Each Green Corner looks to expand its residential garden program to aging-in-home seniors with space in their backyards for gardens. This partnership offers several benefits for both EGC and VSMC. It gives Each Green Corner a place to grow food for its nonprofit partners, allows for VSMC members to have regular social contact with EGC volunteers, and adds to village members’ sense of social value and contribution as their gardens provide food for the community. When Each Green Corner volunteers interact with Villages members, McMullin says “it’s more than just vegetables, it’s contributing to the [mental and physical] health of seniors” which serves to further highlight the invaluable benefits that this partnership brings to the community. 

Even though this is a relatively new partnership, there has already been an incredible interest within the Villages community for EGC to come in and create gardens in their backyards. EGC has already implemented gardens in three members’ homes, with three more village member sites in the pipeline. Currently installed are the A.P. site (look out for the exclusive interview with A.P. on her experience with EGC in a few weeks), B.T. site, and J.N. site. McMullin is confident that as more members of the Villages learn about the partnership, more members will be eager to get involved. The partnership has been wonderful at building connections between village members and volunteers alongside the creation of thriving gardens.

Our wonderful volunteers preparing the garden bed at the B.T. site.
Here is a more recent photo of the B.T. site. The garden is thriving!
This is the J.N. site before anything was planted.
This is the J.N. site with plants growing well in the sunny environment.

For more information on the wonderful things that Villages of San Mateo County is doing for the community of older adults, visit their website. Each Green Corner is planning volunteer days in the future to implement gardens in the yards of the three additional village members interested in having a residential garden. If you’re interested in volunteering with EGC, check out the volunteer page on our website! 

Written by Nicole Shimizu, Communications and Outreach Coordinator


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