Managed Care Facilities
We provide therapeutic programs and access to greenspaces, improving the overall wellness of New Yorkers who cannot live independently and rely on managed care services.
Why We Care
People living in supportive housing facilities might have experienced challenges and trauma, such as domestic violence, being unhoused, living with mental health issues and/or substance use disorder, or involvement with the criminal justice system. For most residents, the gardens we build and the workshops we provide are their only access to nature. Our programs support participants’ mental, social, physical and emotional wellbeing.
How We Work
For individuals who have experienced turmoil in their lives, horticulture helps establish a connection to a place, to plants and to other people who care for a garden. It helps people put down new roots and find new community.
Our therapeutic gardens and therapeutic horticulture workshops provide residents with hands-on experience in gardening, food preparation and cooking, and making self-care products. The gardens, often located in low income areas and food deserts, provide residents with access to fresh, healthy food. Participants learn how to identify plants, collect and catalog seeds, manage pests, compost, grow houseplants, and harvest and preserve vegetables.
Our cooking classes are tailored to the expressed interest and the abilities of the participants and their access to cooking resources in their homes. Other classes focus on making self-care products from the garden such as soaps, lip balms, body butter, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, and lavender sachets. Seasonal flower arrangements and creating of art that uses botanical materials is a further favorite.
All of our programs include regular training for facility staff, supporting an understanding of the benefits of therapeutic horticulture and creating community across residents and staff.
Overall, we have seen a high degree of enthusiasm among program participants, resulting in increased socialization at these sites, improved mood, and consistent attendance throughout the program period. Our therapeutic horticulture programs create a sense of agency and belonging, community, and a connection to the natural world.
We work in close partnership with dozens of organizations including The Bridge, Lantern Community Services, CAMBA, St Nick’s Alliance, Communilife, and the Dwelling Place. We work at approximately 35 sites.
The testimony of our participants and staff provides inspiring evidence that horticultural therapy is improving their lives.
Our programs generate excitement and give participants something meaningful to look forward to and learn about:
I was waiting for you to come back! I have a question about last week. I was thinking about it all week!”
Staff from a facility that helps residents living with mental illness states,
We’ve experienced an increase in medication adherence in residents who participate with horticulture, and we believe this is because they are excited about going to their weekly horticulture group.
Our horticulture group helped residents feel at home in the building:
These carrots taste completely different than anything you’d get in the store! It’s not even like the same vegetable! I love going to the garden and seeing my vegetables grow, and I want us to grow more food here.