In 2014, National Garden Bureau (NGB) launched the Growing for Futures Therapeutic Garden Grant program, which supports the building and growth of therapeutic gardens across North America. The program furthers NGB’s mission of promoting gardening to gardeners and non-gardeners alike.
After collecting almost 60,000 votes from the public, NGB, American Meadows, and Sakata Seed America have announced the three horticulture therapy gardens that will be receiving grants totaling $5,000 this year.
First Place Recipient (Winner of a $3,000 Grant): Beyond Boundaries, Ward, AK
Beyond Boundaries is an equine-assisted therapy center that provides skilled therapy services to children and adults with disabilities. Founded in 2003, Beyond Boundaries was conceived by a group of therapists and other individuals who identified the need for a dedicated equine-assisted therapy center to offer unduplicated services for individuals with disabilities in the rural areas of central Arkansas. Beyond Boundaries employees licensed speech, occupational, and physical therapists that provide specialized services to children and adults with disabilities.
In order to expand its therapeutic offerings, add to the beauty of the natural setting, and develop a safe place for outdoor exploration, Beyond Boundaries is currently working to design and develop a Sensory Garden. A Sensory Garden is a garden environment specifically designed and planted to stimulate all five senses. The purpose of the Sensory Garden is to provide a natural environment for these individuals to therapeutically interact with nature in a way that promotes stimulation of all five senses. These types of gardens are especially beneficial to individuals who have sensory processing issues, although people of all ages and abilities will be able to enjoy the garden and its benefits.
Second Place Recipient (Winner of a $1,000 Grant): Kenny Rogers Children’s Center Sensory Garden, Sikeston, MO
The Kenny Rogers Children’s Center is an outpatient pediatric therapy center whose mission is to improve the quality of life for children with special needs and their families throughout the community and region by providing a wide array of superior developmental and therapeutic services. The Kenny Rogers Children’s Center Sensory Garden is located on the grounds of the Kenny Rogers Children’s Center. This 1,600 square-foot garden is designed for sensory exploration and enrichment, providing a space where children of all ability levels can be immersed in the scents, textures, colors, and sounds of the outdoors. The garden will provide stimulation for the five basic senses (sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch) as well as two other foundational sensory systems, the vestibular system and the proprioceptive/kinesthetic system. The garden will be fully accessible to children of all ages and to those who use any type of assistive device including walkers, wheelchairs, or crutches.
Third Place Recipient (Winner of a $1,000 Grant): Insight Garden Program, Berkeley, CA
Insight Garden Program (IGP) facilitates an innovative environmental education curriculum combined with vocational gardening and landscaping training, so that people in prison can reconnect to self, community, and the natural world. This approach transforms lives, ends ongoing cycles of incarceration, and creates safer communities. The program operates at the intersection of environment, criminal justice, and physical, behavioral, and mental health issues and provides people in prison with the tools and resources needed to become role models for others in prison, and in their communities upon release. Over the past 16 years, IGP has designed, installed and maintained two gardens on H-Unit and has worked with more than 1,000 participants, many of whom have gone on to be successfully employed by green sector employers.
National Garden Bureau, American Meadows, and Sakata Seed America recognize all 73 of the worthy grant applicants that are listed on the NGB website. NGB encourages support of these and other therapeutic gardens by the industry, local communities, and individuals.
For more information about National Garden Bureau, contact Diane Blazek.