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The Horticultural Society of New York

GreenHouse

With the essential help of the Department of Correction, the Hort transformed a two-acre plot on Rikers Island into the nation’s first prison horticultural therapy program. Supervised by trained horticultural therapists, inmates tend and cultivate the lush garden and greenhouse year-round. Our therapeutic curriculum guides each participant’s personal growth plan, giving them the opportunity to find a path to success.

With the essential help of the Department of Correction, the Hort transformed a two-acre plot on Rikers Island into the nation’s first prison horticultural therapy program. Supervised by trained horticultural therapists, inmates tend and cultivate the lush garden and greenhouse year-round. Our therapeutic curriculum guides each participant’s personal growth plan, giving them the opportunity to find a path to success.

The GreenHouse provides the most contact time with individual participants of any social service program on Rikers Island. Our Horticultural Therapists and trained instructors serve over 500 inmates, seven days a week. At five gardens with 160 raised beds, students work together to grow delicious vegetables, useful herbs, and beautiful flowers. The curriculum is more than just gardening: it helps students relate to their lives, emphasizes critical thinking, and encourages teamwork and collaboration. The program reduces recidivism rates by 40% and generates up to 417 pounds of organic fruit and vegetables a year.

Our therapeutic curriculum guides each participant’s personal growth plan, giving them the opportunity to find a path to success.

Growing in the Garden – Curricula
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