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Community Garden

Community Garden: Yielding Produce and Recovery
by Michelle Jacobs, Community Relations Officer, DNREC

The summer gardening season is over and fall is upon us.  A tremendous amount of work was accomplished over the past few months in the Delaware Psychiatric Center’s (DPC) Holloway Campus Therapeutic and Community Garden, a joint project of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services and Delaware Department Agriculture.  The accomplishments were made possible through a grant program from the National Association of Resource Conservation & Development Councils (NARC&DC) with financial sponsorship by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, coupled with a lot of labor from many sources.  The garden’s theme is Planting Hope, Harvesting Recovery, but hope and recovery weren’t the only things planted and harvested this summer. 

It has been proven that gardening has positive cognitive, psychological, social and physical benefits.  And that is why many therapists and clients at the Holloway Campus utilize the garden during therapy sessions.  The garden is actually comprised of three distinct areas:  a sensory garden, a vegetable garden, and a butterfly garden.  The sensory garden is designed to appeal to the five senses with bright colors, edible flowers, wind chimes, aromatic herbs, and plants, such as sage, that feel different to the touch.  The vegetable garden yielded fresh produce to be sold on Market Day including zucchini, watermelon, cantaloupe, and more.  Proceeds from the market days will help fund future garden activities.  Excess produce was donated to the Delaware Food Bank.  The butterfly garden contains a variety of flowers and shrubs, and provides habitat for many butterflies, pollinators, hummingbirds, and beneficial insects. 

Colorful ceramic signs and planters, along with beautiful bluebird and bee houses, have been created and decorated by clients in art therapy sessions and were placed in the garden.  The music therapist encouraged clients to incorporate sights and sounds from the garden into their songs and discussions.  There were plenty of opportunities for physical activity as the gardens needed to be weeded, watered, and maintained all summer.  The DPC Holloway Campus therapeutic and community garden had a very successful growing season this year thanks to the efforts of many volunteers and a national grant.  The accomplishments would still be goals without such funding.  To keep up with garden progress you can visit the “Planting Hope in Delaware” Facebook page. 

Caption: DPC Holloway Campus clients helped harvest produce from the vegetable garden. 

 

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