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Luther professor and student launch horticulture program for residents of care center


Mon, Sep 20th, 2010
Posted in Arts & Culture

DECORAH, Iowa - Gardening has healing powers.

Residents of a Decorah care center experienced those healing powers when they participated in a 12-week gardening project designed and conducted this summer by Stephanie Travers, Luther College assistant professor of psychology, and her summer research student Mitchell Demers, a senior psychology and health major from Rice Lake, Wis. Twelve Aase Haugen residents, ranging in age from 65 to 96, planted two vegetable gardens in raised beds. Along with tending these gardens, the groups also planted and cared for a variety of flowers, herbs and houseplants.

"Current research suggests that challenging activities help the elderly strengthen aspects of memory," said Travers.

Over the course of 12 weeks, three groups of volunteer residents voluntarily participated in the horticulture study. Two groups participated in gardening and discussion activities. One group performed structured gardening activities and the other group chose their activities each week. A third group of residents participated in discussions only.

"We had predicted that gardening would provide the same benefits and help the residents improve their cognitive functioning abilities," said Travers. "But ,we were surprised by the numerous ways this program affected the Aase Haugen community."

Susan Bjelland, the Aase Haugen executive director, and Darlene Juve, activity director, were enthusiastic and very supportive of the project. Many Aase Haugen staff and family members were curious and excited by this horticulture program. A number of the staff reports that the daily experiences with the gardening project appear to have enhanced the residents' sense of well-being by increasing their engagement with others and their involvement in the Aase Haugen community.

"Gardening also became a vehicle for community building," Travers said. "A sense of family developed among the participants -- even the group of residents that simply observed the activities. Besides taking part in the planned gardening activities, many chose to spend additional time in the courtyard together."

Travers said Demers was the driving force behind the student/faculty collaboration.

"Gardening is something that was a big part of many of the residents' lives, and I believe it is important to make gardening once again accessible to them," said Demers.

He said the key to the success of the project was the raised ga .....
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Family fun at Seed Saver's Harvest Festival on October 2

Fri, Sep 17th, 2010
Posted in Arts & Culture

Join Seed Savers Exchange for their annual Harvest Festival at Heritage Farm on Saturday, October 2, 2010, from noon to 4 pm. Attend garlic planting and seed saving workshops, tour the seed processing facilities, listen to bluegrass music, go on hay ..... 
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Min Mor at Commonweal Theatre

Fri, Aug 27th, 2010
Posted in Arts & Culture

LANESBORO, MINN. - The Commonweal Theatre, located in historic downtown Lanesboro, hosts its next "Commonweal Presents" event - Min Mor ("Mother") - on Wednesday, September 15th, at 7:30 pm. Performed by internationally acclaimed actress Bente B ..... 
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Local musician attends prestigious summer percussion program

Fri, Aug 27th, 2010
Posted in Arts & Culture

Jamie Mathison, a talented young musician from Preston, Minn., spent two weeks this summer studying percussion and steelpan at Birch Creek Music Performance Center in Door County, Wis. Jamie is the daughter of Linda and Al and studies percussion pri ..... 
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Movie night in Whalan

Fri, Aug 20th, 2010
Posted in Arts & Culture

Remember the good ol' days when you watched movies outdoors. Well, in Whalan, we remember. Movies were projected on the city hall of Whalan for years, and we are doing it again.

Great entertainment, popcorn and an outdoor movie. What more co ..... 
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SEMAC awards artists in education grants

Fri, Aug 20th, 2010
Posted in Arts & Culture

On August 17, 2010, the Board of Directors of the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council, Inc. (SEMAC) awarded 18 grants for a total of $103,682 in funding to applicants throughout southeastern Minnesota. This included eight Artists in Education Grants ..... 
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Gunfight draws a crowd

Fri, Aug 13th, 2010
Posted in Arts & Culture

"I like it all. I'm really pleased that there wasn't any rain this year," smiled Jody Ruen when asked for her favorite thing about Buffalo Bill Days, an annual summer celebration held in Lanesboro. "The Cub Scouts passed out over 1,000 American flag ..... 
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Gunfight draws a crowd

Fri, Aug 13th, 2010
Posted in Arts & Culture

"I like it all. I'm really pleased that there wasn't any rain this year," smiled Jody Ruen when asked for her favorite thing about Buffalo Bill Days, an annual summer celebration held in Lanesboro. "The Cub Scouts passed out over 1,000 American flag ..... 
[Read the Rest]

Spring Valley community Theatre presents Alice in Wonderland

Fri, Aug 13th, 2010
Posted in Arts & Culture

Spring Valley - The script has been cast, rehearsals are in progress and the stage will soon be set for Brave Community Theatre of Spring Valley's, Alice in Wonderland. 2010 marks the 38th season that BCT has presented a theatrical production during ..... 
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