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Youths, partners to develop pollinator garden in Great Falls

Residents of senior-living center to benefit from collaborative effort
Edward Dalton, Isabella Hao, Clay Rossen, Olivia Hao, Kashmir Pandolfi, Joy Guo, Jeff Rossen, Georgia Orcutt and Danielle Damjan pose with drawings from a Garden Design Challenge held by Kashmir's Pollinator Garden Club on April 29 at The Residence at Colvin Run, a senior-living facility in Great Falls.




The Residence at Colvin Run, a senior-living facility located in Great Falls, on April 29 welcomed young learners from Kashmir’s Pollinator Garden Club to participate in a Garden Design Challenge aimed at helping to save pollinators.

The event was organized by the club, in partnership with Rossen Landscape, to create a community pollinator garden using the principles of geometry. The club’s goal? To provide a healthy habitat for local pollinators such as bees, butterflies and birds, while promoting intergenerational community engagement and education about the importance of pollinators in the ecosystem.

During the Design Challenge event, club president Kashmir Pandolfi, 11, and vice president Georgia Orcutt, 12, gave a presentation about the organization’s background and why helping pollinators is so important. Afterward, club members began collaborating on their summer goal to create a local pollinator garden on location at The Residence.

The Garden Design Challenge encourages students to use geometry to design a garden that will provide food, water and shelter for pollinators.

“I want to incorporate geometry into designing gardens so I can apply what I learned in school to real-world causes that I care about,” Pandolfi said.

“I enjoy being a part of this club, because no matter your shape, size or knowledge of a topic, you can make a positive difference in the world around you,” added Orcutt.

The students thought that by exploring geometric principles through the lens of garden design, they could discover new ways to interact with the natural environment and be creative in outdoor spaces.

“This is a beautiful example of why project-based learning is such an effective method of providing school-aged children the opportunity to learn through community engagement,” said Sarah Thompson, a parent volunteer who came out to support the Garden Design Challenge. “It was wonderful to see all the different generations collaborating together toward such a wholesome goal that benefits everyone involved, including the pollinators.”

Community gardens also foster a sense of unity and pride, bringing people of all ages together to work towards a common goal, club members said.

With help and guidance from Jeff Rossen, founder of Rossen Landscape, the students measured the available space and began working on their designs. They used the tools of geometry to create a garden plan that would maximize the use of space and resources while providing a healthy habitat for our little flying friends.

The community garden will feature a variety of native plants, as well as a gathering space for community members to enjoy the garden’s natural beauty. This project collaboration between students, seniors and local businesses helps develop skills in teamwork and leadership while creating a positive impact on the environment and the community, organizers said.

In addition to Pandolfi and Orcutt, club officers include treasurer/historian Katheryn Ji, secretaries Olivia and Isabella Hao, and second vice president Danielle Damjan. To learn more, visit

–Kashmir Pandolfi, Georgia Orcutt and Katheryn Ji