NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A community garden will soon be built at the Nacogdoches Senior Center. The latest addition will clearly illustrate how the center is evolving into a place which caters to a more active lifestyle.
Enter the Nacogdoches Senior Center, and you'll see far less 42 domino games and much more exercise.
"It has just exploded," said Tommy Blank, the director of the Nacogdoches Senior Center. It's been amazing how well they've taken to it."
Changing trends at senior centers led to an office being replaced by a fitness center. It keeps Harold Hawley, a patron of the senior center, active.
"Functional fitness every day and then also ride the bicycle and also the treadmill back here some," Hawley said.
On pretty days patrons hit the outdoor walkway on a spot of ground where birds were once viewed only from the inside.
"You see this is my walk here, eight rounds," said James Arriolla, a senior center patron, I got eight rounds here."
Art and Bingo are still on the activity calendar, but not as often as fitness and yoga.
"I had one lady tell me for the first time in years she touched her toes because we do a lot of forward bending," said Kathleen Worrell, a fitness and yoga instructor.
No bending will be necessary in a future community garden going in on a bare patch of ground in front of the senior center.
"We're going to do raised beds," said Maggie Forbes, the Nacogdoches Senior Garden president.
Forbes said that she knows what is feeding the 'get moving" trend among seniors.
"I think it's the baby boomers," Forbes said. "I just became a senior last year and so I'm excited about having my own raised bed garden."
The beds will be leased for a nominal fee first to seniors and if space is available to anyone else. The plot will fit right in the fitness plan.
"Oh, I think gardening is wonderful and therapeutic," Worrell said.
Arriolla, a farmer, said he'll provide advice. Harold Hawley's expertise ...
"I'll be eating the produce," Hawley said.
The Nacogdoches Senior Garden group still has tickets left for its Valentine's Day dinner and dance. The event is a fundraiser for the raised garden beds.
The event is at the Senior Center on Harris Street at 7 p.m. The date night includes a fresh Italian dinner, live entertainment, and dancing. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased at the Nacogdoches Chamber.