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Your Support Can Help The Children's Center Garden Receive National Grant

To read a story about the therapy garden at The Children’s Center, go to Garden.

To see a video about the garden, go to YouTube. 

To vote for The Children’s Center garden, go to Vote. 

Garden 5SEPTEMBER 10, 2021 –The therapy garden at The Children’s Center is one of three gardens in the country that will receive a 2021 Therapeutic Garden Grant from the National Garden Bureau (NGB).

Voters will determine whether the garden receives a $3,000 grant for first place or a $1,000 grant for second place or third place.

Voting is now open and will continue through Sept. 24.

Started in 2014, the Therapeutic Garden Grant is a philanthropic program of NGB that supports therapeutic gardens across North America. In 2021, National Garden Bureau, American Meadows and Sakata Seed America are partnering to provide $5,000 in grant money to be split among three therapeutic gardens in North America. Corona Toos will alos donate an assortment of garden tools to each of the three therapeutic garden finalists. 

The first-place winner of the online voting will receive $3,000 from the program to enhance the garden’s good works and continue its mission. Second and third place winners will receive $1,000 each to continue their garden’s respective missions.

“NGB is proud to continue our annual therapeutic garden grant program to sponsor the growth of therapeutic gardening across the United States. Gardening is a great tool of healing for so many and we understand the importance of the grant program to allow for these programs to flourish and grow in our communities.” states NGB President Nick Pucci.

After reviewing all applications submitted for the 2020 Therapeutic Garden Grant, NGB has narrowed the list of finalists to three gardening programs. Those gardens are:

Children’s Center

The Children's Center serves children with special needs, serving approximately 100 children each month. We see possibilities, not challenges in the children we serve. Our horticultural therapy curriculum brings nature-based programs into both our indoor and outdoor classrooms. Lessons have a hands-on focus and are designed to strengthen memory, enhance cognitive abilities, build task initiation, develop language skills and increase socialization levels.
With funding from the Therapeutic Gardening Grant, we will purchase pine needles, soil, home gardening kits, adult tools and adaptive gardening tools for students. The monies will also be used to pay for the removal of weeds, poisonous plants and overall garden maintenance.

Inova Mt. Vernon Hospital

INOVA Mt. Vernon Hospital is a 67-bed, in-patient acute rehab hospital serving patients with CVA, brain and spinal cord injuries, amputees. Over the years, the Therapeutic Recreation team has incorporated gardening into their services, and the garden has evolved from a 10’ x12’ raised garden to a Therapeutic Pavilion, where teams of PT, OT, SLP and TR use gardening tasks to work on individual patient goals (see below). In 2019 the TR team collaborated with an HTR to create a year-round, interdisciplinary HT program. Weekly group HT sessions engage patients in a variety of activities, including: seed starting; propagation; floral arrangement; accessible garden techniques, and mindfulness activities. All HT sessions are centered around a plant metaphor that relates to a patient's experience in rehabilitation and healing to the plant life cycle/nature.

Vera A. Sherer Garden

The Vera Sherer Garden partners with Morristown High School and welcome special needs high school students to work in the garden as part of the vocational program. The students learn gardening and work skills. They learn to be on time for work, to remember their tools and to their very best each time they are working. They also learn to weed, water, plant and harvest. Other groups come and use the garden for recreation and social activity. Each month they teach a new horticulture topic and have a short discussion. After the discussion, they do a horticulture craft which may include planting, painting, or creating a gift. They learn the plants and use the plants harvested from the garden. The craft helps them exercise their fingers and improve fine motor skills as well as making decisions and creating something to share.