Therapeutic Community Gardens Initiative

Healing Through Gardening

Plants and gardening have forever been a force of healing for humanity, offering connection and beauty in times of crisis, from natural disaster to personal loss. At Grassroots Gardens, we again and again hear stories of how our community gardens provide nourishment; feeding our gardeners not only physically, but emotionally and mentally.


In the spring of 2019, to recognize the healing power and potential of our community and school gardens, GGWNY launched the Therapeutic Gardening Initiative. We began by bringing together a task force of local stakeholders to understand and appreciate how our gardens help individuals and communities, and to brainstorm other ways they could be used for wellness. The task force  has grown to include gardeners from Buffalo and Niagara Falls as well as representatives from Jewish Family Services, RAHAMA, Buffalo Public Schools, FeedMore WNY, Erie County, the University at Buffalo, Homespace Corporation, Community Missions, Wilson Support Center, and Journey’s End Refugee Services, among others.


Our work centers around increasing education and access to therapeutic gardening in communities, including:

  • Implementing a pilot program to create therapeutic community gardens in residential facilities for women and youth going through difficult transitions.

  • Offering therapeutic programming, such as our They That Sow In Tears grief workshop and yoga classes, on-site in the gardens and at Grassroots Gardens headquarters.

  • Researching and spreading knowledge on the history, uses, and impact of community gardening, therapeutic gardening, and how the two can come together for maximal benefit.

  • Organizing a one-day Healing Gardens Symposium to bring awareness, knowledge, and tools to communities and service organizations in Western New York. 

  • Creating a toolkit around Therapeutic Community Gardening. 

  • Constantly expanding partnerships with local gardeners and organizations in the mental health and wellness fields.

Watch this video to hear more about our innovative Grief in the Gardens program that includes our They That Sow in Tears workshop. You'll also learn about our school gardens and Freedom Gardens affiliate program.

For more information on the Therapeutic Gardening Initiative, including booking a workshop or joining the task force, please contact our Executive Director, Jeanette, at or at 716-783-9653.