Chapel Hill News

Durham Tech students build raised garden beds at Charles House in Chapel Hill

Durham Tech’s Occupational Therapy Assistant students didn’t let the nearly 100 degree temperatures slow them down this month as they worked to build raised garden beds for the residents of Charles House-Winmore.

Students installed two raised garden beds, one of which is wheelchair-accessible. They raised more than $600 through fundraising activities, of which approximately $200 was used for the bed installation project, according to a news release.

The ground was leveled with topsoil and finished with mulch, and the beds were strategically placed and loaded with a topsoil and compost blend donated by Mellott Construction Company in Chapel Hill.

The beds were then lined with squash, green and jalapeño peppers, cucumber plants, and herbs donated by Garden Supply Company in Cary. Two large pots were filled with tomato plants. Charles House staff and residents will tend the plants and enjoy the vegetables they harvest.

Kristine Nguyen, OTA student service learning project chairperson, said the garden beds have connected student volunteers and residents of the home.

“We are really proud of the way the project turned out and pleased that our contributions to Charles House-Winmore are long-lasting and will be enjoyed for years to come by the residents,” Nguyen said in the release.

The students held an ice cream social July 16 for the residents and their families and the staff of Charles House-Winmore to dedicate the new raised garden beds, along with an activity binder and associated activities and games the OTA students created and selected for the residents. The project is designed to give older residents living at Charles House-Winmore engaging and therapeutic activities.

The Charles House Association operates the Charles House Center for Eldercare, providing quality, personalized care to elders and respite for their caregiving families. Six residents inhabit the Charles House-Winmore home, which opened in September 2014 in northwestern Chapel Hill. According to the organization’s website, the program aims to provide “high levels of social and physical engagement for residents.”