Voting is now open for the National Garden Bureau’s (NGB) 2022 Therapeutic Garden Grant. Anyone and everyone is encouraged to visit the NGB website and vote for the most deserving therapeutic garden based on the videos seen at ngb.org.
Started in 2014, the Therapeutic Garden Grant is a philanthropic program of NGB that supports therapeutic gardens across North America. In 2022, National Garden Bureau, American Meadows and Sakata Seed America are partnering to provide $5,000 in grant money to be split between two therapeutic gardens in North America. Corona Tools will donate a generous assortment of garden tools to each of the therapeutic garden finalists.
The first-place winner of the online voting (https://ngb.org/therapeutic-garden-contest/) will receive $3,000 from the program to enhance the garden’s good works and continue its mission. Second place will receive $2,000 to continue their garden’s mission.
“The NGB Therapeutic Garden Grant recognizes the value the Therapeutic Garden community brings to so many and we are proud to assist the grant recipients in making a difference in their community. The heart-warming stories and experiences shared with NGB from past recipients of the Therapeutic Garden Grant underscore how gardening as a therapy can be life-changing and rewarding, both physically and emotionally, all while providing a healthy connection to others and nature.” states NGB President Jeannine Bogard.
After reviewing all applications submitted for the 2022 Therapeutic Garden Grant, NGB has narrowed the list of finalists to two gardening programs. Those gardens are:
Capper Foundation Gardens
The Capper Gardens consist of raised beds on a corner of their Topeka, Kansas campus, as well as raised and flat garden beds including many sensory components in their inner courtyard and container gardens at their residences. Pediatric therapists use the gardens to work on fine motor, gross motor and communication skills during individualized therapy sessions with the children. The adults they serve work alongside staff and volunteers to prepare and plant the gardens and care for them throughout the growing season. They also use the vegetables and herbs grown in the gardens in cooking classes offered at Capper. The Capper Gardens also provide staff, volunteers and people they serve the opportunity to get outside and enjoy the beauty of the garden spaces. Their plan for this grant is to purchase additional sensory components for the courtyard gardens, including plants and outdoor musical instruments, as well as containers, plants, seeds, and specialized container garden soil for all of the gardens.
Mary Free Bed Therapeutic Garden
One of the Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital (MFB) Recreational Therapy offerings is horticulture therapy in an accessible therapy garden, which provides patients the opportunity to strengthen skills and connect with nature. Rehabilitation specialists work with patients on a variety of activities that focus on the skills needed to garden following an injury or illness, such as shopping to purchase seeds and tools, planting in raised beds, using gardening tools, and safely transitioning to uneven surfaces. The program also helps heal patients’ mental health. If selected for a grant, MFB would expand upon this program by creating a “Live Wall.” This Wall will be made entirely out of plants and will create a more intimate and healing therapy garden area for patients and visitors. The Wall will be positioned so that it blocks the view of the parking area, creating a calmer setting where patients and families can sit and experience a brief escape from a traditional hospital setting.
The online voting can be accessed at https://ngb.org/therapeutic-garden-contest/ until September 30, 2022. Before voting be sure to view the videos created by the two finalists explaining their impactful horticulture therapy programs.