Voting is now open for the National Garden Bureau’s (NGB) 2021 Therapeutic Garden Grant, according to a press release issued by the organization. Anyone and everyone are encouraged to visit the NGB website and vote for the most deserving therapeutic garden based on the videos seen at ngb.org.
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 Tools will donate a generous assortment of garden tools to each of the three therapeutic garden finalists.
The first-place winner of the online voting (https://ngb.org/therapeutic-garden-contest/) 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.
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 CFEC
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.
The online voting can be accessed at https://ngb.org/therapeutic-garden-contest/ until Sept. 24. Before voting be sure to view the videos created by the three finalists explaining their worthwhile horticulture therapy programs.
For more information about National Garden Bureau, please contact Diane Blazek at firstname.lastname@example.org.