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Healing Through Gardening


Plants and gardening have forever been a force of healing for humanity, offering connection and beauty in times of need and crisis, from natural disaster to personal loss. At Grassroots Gardens, we have heard, again and again, stories of how our community gardens have provided nourishment for our gardeners' emotional and mental health. 

Recognizing the healing power and potential of our gardens, GGWNY launched the Therapeutic Gardening Initiative and its related community task force in Spring of 2019. We began by bringing together gardeners and 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 regularly met monthly and  has grown to include gardeners from Buffalo and Niagara Falls as well as representatives from Jewish Family Services, RAHAMA, Buffalo Public Schools, Food for All, Homespace Corporation, Community Missions, the Office of People with Developmental Disabilities, Endeavor Health, Niagara Street Pediatrics, and Oishei Children's Hospital.

Projects led by the task force over the last four seasons include:


  • Seeking funding for and implementing a pilot program to create therapeutic community gardens in residential facilities for community members going through difficult life transitions 

  • Developing and offering our Grief in the Gardens programming, including our They That Sow In Tears workshop

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

  • Creating a toolkit for GGWNY's community gardens on therapeutic gardening practices 

  • Publishing a scholarly article in Acta Horticulturae and presenting our work at the International People and Plants Conference

  • Growing our therapeutic member-gardens from 1 to 8 community gardens

  • Leading a variety of therapeutic gardening programming on-site throughout the community and at our office

For more information on the Therapeutic Gardening Initiative, including requesting programming or joining the task force, please contact our Therapeutic Gardening Coordinator Nicole at or at 716-783-9653.

Watch this video below to hear more about our innovative Grief in the Gardens program. You'll also learn about our school gardens and Freedom Gardens affiliate program.


Learn more about our member-gardens that offer therapeutic programming by exploring the links below.

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