Day 7 of 7: Horticultural Therapy Week, Spring has Sprung!

Ornamental Tree and Shrub Garden

Ornamental Tree and Shrub Garden

A review of our first “National Horticultural Therapy Week,” March 17 – 23, 2019.
It’s great to belong to a national movement and organization, American Horticultural Therapy Association – working towards providing more and more access, opportunity, and enjoyment outdoors, with plants and people – all kinds!

We have created a weekly Thursday morning Volunteers Get Dirty in the Garden program, running March 21 – November 21 (Registration required!). We have responded to requests from community members with special needs: “May we come to your garden?” Yes! We have opened our Thursday morning program to include volunteers living with memory loss and care-partners. Soon, we will also host volunteers and guests from MA DDS Danvers Hogan Regional Center ~ who will participate as Observers, Learners and Teachers!

Highlights
On Thursday morning, we had a total 5 participants at our new program, Volunteers Get Dirty in the Garden. Together they assisted with winter clean-up.
2 Teachers (skilled horticultural volunteers able to work independently and/or teach others)
3 Learners (volunteers contributing at a comfortable level based on ability)
0 Observers (individuals coming to enjoy the outdoors, not able to contribute physically)

This group included a dementia-care duo (care-giver daughter and care-receiver mom). Both engaged the horticultural work of filling bird feeders, and raking, collecting and moving leaves to burn piles. They enjoyed their time and wrote an appreciation e-mail after the experience.

Learnings
Actualizing the vision of serving people at our home, we realized the limited parking capacity and need to park most volunteers at the Caretaker’s Cottage. Volunteers with special needs may park in the first area, close to the garden.

Next Steps
We will continue offering the Thursday morning program to the group members who have registered. If you’d like to join the program as a Teacher or Learner, please contact me.

Peace and Joy,
Mary

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