Therapeutic Community Gardens Initiative
Healing Through Gardening
Over and over, we hear stories of how our community gardens provide nourishment; not only for one’s physical health, but for emotional and mental health as well. In 2019, GGWNY launched a new therapeutic community garden initiative out of recognition that our community and school gardens do so much for our spirits as well as our bodies.
As we are a community-led organization, our role is to support those community and school gardens who want to consider how to utilize their gardens for specific therapeutic purposes in addition to all the other ways the garden is benefiting city residents.
We convened a group of key stakeholders in April 2019 from Say Yes Buffalo, Buffalo Public Schools, the Wilson Support Center, and Journey’s End Refugee Services, among others, to brainstorm how our gardens could be used in creative new ways for wellness. For example, a support group for young women who are students and also refugees could be hosted in one of our school gardens. Or a school may decide to utilize the garden for a student’s service as an alternative to a traditional in-school suspension. Or a senior center garden may decide to host a support group for new widows and widowers.
The new working group will continue to meet periodically throughout 2019. We are also grateful to the University at Buffalo School of Social Work for placing an MSW student with us in Fall 2019 to help us research best practices in therapeutic gardening to share with the work group. To learn more about this initiative, contact Jeanette at firstname.lastname@example.org.