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Are We Growing Lifelong Learning for All?

This month our well-being focus is life-long learning.  Research suggests that simply developing a new interest or picking up a new hobby or skill as an adult - or continuing to hone and nurture an existing passion - pays dividends in length and quality of life. But the benefits of adult continued learning are not confined to structured learning.  Anything that encourages brain plasticity (creation of new neural connections) helps people live not just longer, but better. 

As we plan for the future health and well-being of Brown County, there’s an increasing need to ensure that lifelong learning opportunities not only exist, but that they are accessible and relevant for our increasingly diverse population, as well as for people of all income levels.  A recent example of a lifelong learning opportunity that spoke to this new awareness was the Gardening: Exploring Cultural Roots event hosted by The Farmory Urban Aquaponic Farm and Fish Hatchery and the Brown County Community Gardens. At the event, gardeners from four different communities - Oneida, Ethiopian, Hmong and Mexican - shared their unique gardening expertise and the typical foods, recipes and traditions from their cultural heritage.  Each gardener brought foods to sample as well as examples of the produce most commonly used in their cultural cuisine. The event not only provided a lifelong learning experience for the community, it also provided an opportunity for the expert gardeners to share their knowledge and passion with the community.  

Have you participated in a learning opportunity that introduced you to a new culture or language?  How did that experience impact your sense of community and well-being? Share your story here.  

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