Community Gardeners at Greenspring Retirement Community Prepare Their Green Thumbs for National Garden Month

(SPRINGFIELD, VIRGINIA) - According to the National Gardening Association, which celebrates National Garden Month in April, research indicates that gardening is beneficial: "attitudes toward health and nutrition improve, kids perform better at school, and community spirit grows."  That community spirit has grown at Greenspring retirement community where there are now 108 resident garden plots, a significant increase from the ten plots that were being maintained just after the community opened in 1998.  Due to expansion of the community in 2003, the gardens were relocated and remain in the same spot today adjacent to the community's Bark Park, an off-leash play area for residents' dogs who live at Greenspring. During gardening season, you can find the majority of the ninety-nine current gardeners at the community maintaining their gardens nearly every day.  They are able to easily find and use supplies like gardening tools and fertilizer in two garden houses located near the plots.  While most of the gardeners grow a myriad of vegetables, there is also often a burst of color from plants and flowers also being nurtured.  Groundskeeper John St. Louis, who has been at the community since 1999, helps with maintenance by rototilling, digging, and planting when needed.  Recently, he installed an automatic irrigation system for those resident gardeners who travel frequently or cannot water every day. Resident George Tateosian, chairman of Greenspring's gardening club, The Tillager's, held the group's first meeting of the season in mid-March to prepare for the gardening season ahead.  Tateosian indicated that with the mild winter experienced in the Washington, D.C. area, gardening season is likely to start early this year.  He reminded club members that there are always garden plots available for any resident who wants to continue cultivating their interest or who may want to start a new hobby! ABOUT GREENSPRING:  Greenspring, one of 16 Erickson Living full-service retirement communities, is situated on a scenic 108-acre campus in Springfield, Virginia.  The community is home to nearly 2000 residents, many of which reside in the 1405 independent living units.  At Greenspring, a robust complement of resident programs and facilities promote an engaged, fulfilling lifestyle that is reflected in resident satisfaction levels that exceed the industry average.  Life at Greenspring offers a true sense of community and is an exciting alternative to the typical retirement community.  Additional information about Greenspring can be found at www.ericksonliving.com.