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Jaffrey

A service project blossoms

  • National Honor Society and Interact Conant High School students paint the fence surrounding the new mariposa garden at the Monadnock Adult Day Program in Jaffrey.
  • National Honor Society and Interact Conant High School students paint the fence surrounding the new mariposa garden at the Monadnock Adult Day Program in Jaffrey.
  • National Honor Society and Interact Conant High School students paint the fence surrounding the new mariposa garden at the Monadnock Adult Day Program in Jaffrey.
  • National Honor Society and Interact Conant High School students paint the fence surrounding the new mariposa garden at the Monadnock Adult Day Program in Jaffrey.
  • National Honor Society and Interact Conant High School students paint the fence surrounding the new mariposa garden at the Monadnock Adult Day Program in Jaffrey.
  • National Honor Society and Interact Conant High School students paint the fence surrounding the new mariposa garden at the Monadnock Adult Day Program in Jaffrey.
  • National Honor Society and Interact Conant High School students paint the fence surrounding the new mariposa garden at the Monadnock Adult Day Program in Jaffrey.
  • National Honor Society and Interact Conant High School students paint the fence surrounding the new mariposa garden at the Monadnock Adult Day Program in Jaffrey.

JAFFREY — Wednesday’s National Day of Service and Remembrance came full circle when students from the Conant High School National Honor Society and Interact group, volunteered to paint the fence surrounding the Monadnock Adult Day Program’s new Mariposa garden. The garden was made possible by a first-time grant challenge, the Youth in Philanthropy Project, issued by Peterborough’s Mariposa Museum to ConVal High School students.

According to the director of the adult care program in Jaffrey, Kris Selmer, the Mariposa Museum in Peterborough offered a grant in the form of a challenge to ConVal students in the social studies program to gain awareness of a charity of their choice. According to the director of the museum, Karla Hostetler, the charity did not have to be local, however, all of the four ConVal classes that participated researched charities from the New Hampshire area. The participating students investigated how their selected charity became a charity and why they are in need of funds.

Selmer said one ConVal class chose the adult program and even came to the facility and interviewed several clients there. The program provides adults with activities during the day to help improve physical, mental and social well-being, and helps them remain independent in their homes for as long as possible. After conducting their research, David Selmer — Kris Selmer’s son — Ben Payne and Owen Hale presented their interview footage, program information and interest in the program at a semi-final competition held at ConVal. Teachers at the school selected the finalists to continue on to the final competition, held on May 30 at the museum for a community audience.

Hostetler said the goal was for students to learn how organizations strategize to solve community problems. The program in Jaffrey struggled with the issue of not having a safe area for clients to go outside. Selmer said their location on North Street has a lot of traffic, and the land behind the building turns into a steep drop off with the Contoocook River directly below. The ConVal students learned of the clients’ dreams of having a garden when they went to conduct interviews this past spring, and wanted to help make this garden dream possible.

Selmer said she and the clients began envisioning a garden on the property in 2007 when the program moved from the Monadnock Community Hospital in Peterborough to Jaffrey. Their dream of having a country English garden area that’s safe will soon be made real as a result of the collaborative efforts of clients and local volunteers.

“It’s a dream come true,” Selmer said. “The clients love to come outside and watch the cars go by.”

Selmer said the fence was painted on Sept. 11 as part of the National Day of Service and Remembrance. The 9/11 nonprofit MyGoodDeed began its efforts of inspiring charitable service in 2002, and Congress established Sept. 11 as the Nation Day of Service and Remembrance in 2009. Other groups did service work yesterday as well for both the National Day of Service and the United Way’s Day of Caring. In Antrim, two cabins, a pavilion and a shower house at Camp Chenoa were prepped and painted by volunteers from the Keene Timken Company, according to a press release issued by the United Way.

Hostetler said the museum is planning to have another youth challenge next spring and will offer it to other local schools, or maybe schools across New Hampshire.

Selmer said everything is coming together nicely for the garden, which is getting close to completion. Selmer and her clients have been developing the garden in recent weeks. “We want to plant perennials so the garden has an ever-blooming nature about it,” Selmer said.

The clients are also very attentive to the ongoing project, Selmer said. “I noticed one woman looking out her window at the garden and I asked her what she was doing and she said, ‘I’m just making sure these boys know what they’re doing.’”

Belletetes in Jaffrey paid for all the fencing materials for the garden, Selmer noted.

They plan to name the garden the Mariposa Serenity Garden. Since mariposa is Spanish for butterfly, Selmer hopes that one day they can find a way to have butterflies fluttering around the garden as well.

Lindsey Arceci can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 232, or larceci@ledgertranscript.com.

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