An introduction to Gardening for Good

Spring 2012

Gardening for Good: the supported gardening project is a Dane County supported pilot program being introduced at Troy Gardens this season. Supported gardening assists people with developmental disabilities to explore gardening in a community setting, where the level of participation is individually tailored to meet the person’s skills and interest.

A select group of adults with developmental disabilities, each with an accompanying support person, along with the project facilitator, and any other interested gardeners, will share a plot in the community gardens. The weekly sessions will begin with the physical work of tending a garden. When we’re caught up in our plot, we may look to see if any of our other fellow gardeners at Troy would like a hand in their gardens. Following that, the gardeners will participate in “mini-workshops,” half-hour lessons from wise community members. Topics will be related to gardening as well as other topics, including: singing, citizenship, nature, crafts, story writing, flower bouquet arranging, and more. Each session will end with a snack and time to socialize with other gardeners.

In addition to supported gardeners, other individuals with disabilities (accompanied by support people) who live on the north side will be invited to come to Troy Gardens on gardening night. There will be tables for picnics, playing games, and more. All interested folks will be invited to attend the mini-workshops and stay for refreshments.

Troy gardener and neighbor Rebecca Starke, Gardening for Good project facilitator, has worked with people with disabilities for more than 20 years. She is eager for supported gardeners to discover how gardening can enrich their lives. She is also a longtime lover of gardening, and is excited to share this passion with individuals with disabilities.

The ultimate goal of Gardening for Good is that supported gardeners will develop lasting friendships and find their place in the community at Troy Gardens.

Northside residents with developmental disabilities are still being recruited. If you or someone you know is interested, contact the individual’s Dane County broker/case manager for more information.

If you’re interested in volunteering with the Gardening for Good pilot program, contact Rebecca at wearegardeningforgood@yahoo.com. Volunteer hours can be counted towards your Troy Community Garden volunteer hours and Dane County TimeBank hours.

The gardening sessions will begin May 31 and go through August 16, from 6:00-7:30 pm.

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