Voting is now open for the National Garden Bureau’s (NGB) 2019 Therapeutic Garden Grant program. Growers and other horticulture industry members are encouraged to visit the NGB website and vote for the most deserving therapeutic garden.
Started in 2014, the Therapeutic Garden Grant is a philanthropic program of NGB that supports therapeutic gardens across North America. In 2019, 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 Tools, a new sponsor of the program, will also donate a generous 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.
“Through the NGB Therapeutic Garden Grant program, we hope to expand the knowledge and benefits of gardening to everyone,” says Diane Blazek, NGB’s Executive Director. “These benefits are especially important to individuals suffering with physical, mental, or emotional burdens. Gardens and gardening are therapeutic in the truest sense of the word,” Blazek adds.
After reviewing all applications submitted for the 2019 Therapeutic Garden Grant, NGB has narrowed the list of finalists to three gardening programs:
- Opportunity Knocks, Knockout Farm in Maywood, IL: Opportunity Knocks (OK) enriches life and community for teens and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). OK supports IDD persons as they live, work, learn, grow, and connect within their community through after work/after school and adult day programming, as well as an umbrella of social enterprise operations that provide meaningful, paid employment to participants and provide supplemental revenue to the mission. OK embraces a dynamic, person-centered, and community-based approach to programming that engages the voice of all participants, thrives on interdependent connections, encourages exploration, and centers on holistic wellness and healthy relationships.
- The Creative Therapy and Healing Gardens at Magee Rehab Hospital in Philadelphia, PA: Opened in 1958, Magee Rehabilitation Hospital (Magee) is a non-profit, 80-bed hospital providing physical and cognitive rehabilitation services to the city of Philadelphia and surrounding communities. Of the treatments they provide in the Creative Therapy Center, the addendum therapy services, are supported entirely by generous donations and grant funding and stand out for their significant contribution to patients’ overall well-being. Horticultural therapy improves the physical, cognitive, and emotional wellness of patients recovering from devastating and disabling injuries and diseases including spinal cord injury, brain injury, stroke, amputation, severe orthopedic injury, and neurological disorders.
- Wilmot Botanical Gardens at University of Florida in Gainesville, FL: The therapeutic horticulture (TH) program at Wilmot Botanical Gardens (WBG) takes place inside a state-of-the-art greenhouse, outside in raised beds, and throughout 5 acres of gardens. The TH program is dedicated for those with medical challenges and other special needs, but also for students, volunteers, and those who are caregivers. The therapeutic programs operate on the principle that active connections with plants and nature are restorative, provide therapeutic benefits, and enhance quality of life. The program goals are to decrease psychological stress, anxiety, depressive symptomatology, and mental fatigue, while augmenting positive affect, self-esteem, self-efficacy, creativity, a feeling of optimism, social interactions, and a stronger sense of community. In essence, they seek to help people live fruitful, healthier, and happier lives.
Online voting runs until Sept. 23, 2019. Before voting, be sure to view the videos created by the three finalists explaining why their garden should receive the National Garden Bureau’s Therapeutic Garden Grant.
For more information about National Garden Bureau, contact Diane Blazek.