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State of Indiana Recommends Accessible Gardens for its Residents with Disabilities

Written by Laura Medcalf, April 20, 2016

A while back, I wrote a post featuring gardening tools designed to simplify gardening for individuals of all abilities. Now that the weather is so bright and warm, I just felt the need to explore the world of accessible gardening again!  Unlike my previous post, which solely discussed tools to simplify gardening, this post will go into further detail on how to make your actual garden more accessible!

Eagle Scout "Accessible Gardens" Project to Benefit
Life Skills Classes at BJHS

Bellville Junior High School
1305 S Tesch Street
Bellville, TX 77418

Troop 36 Life Scout, Paul Cessna, is planning an Eagle Scout Project, which will benefit the Life Skills students of Bellville Junior High School.

The Eagle Scout Project consists of installing handicapped accessible vegetable gardens and flower beds benefiting the current and future Life Skills students attending BJHS. The Life Skills students are those who are wheelchair-bound or have other disabilities. These beds will be useful in teaching the students gardening and cooking skills by enabling them to plant and maintain the gardens and to cook the harvested produce. The garden will also provide a pleasant outdoor environment in which to learn.

Everyone should hear

"Gardening Helps Transform Lives"
Everyone Should Hear
Newsletter of the Evansville State Hospital 
Evansville, Indiana

by Tonya Smith

F Unit, the hospital's geriatric and long term care unit, has created a sensory garden that encourages movement and conversation as well as stimulating the senses of sight, touch, smell and sound. Clinicians also use the gardens to help organize activities and provide an outlet for self expression. "We do a lot of reminiscing while we're doing this," reports Social Service Specialist Julia Burns. "So they'll tell us about mom's garden; they're remembering growing vegetables during childhood and how things were done."

"Soil is Good for the Soul"
Disability Issues
Spaulding Hospital Cambridge
Cambridge, Massachusetts
by Susan Murray

One of the many rewards for living through a winter in the Northeast is, spring. Almost overnight it seems buds appear on the trees and daffodils and crocuses poke through the earth. My heart cheers as they tenaciously push through a late snow and I am itching to get out and get my hands in the dirt, my face in the sun and my heart communing with nature. Gardening provides not only food for my table but a tranquil and colorful setting to enjoy the outdoor weather.

"Researchers find gardening programs good way
to boost health, energy of older adults."

Older adults who spend time gardening are more likely to eat healthier foods, and report better quality of life and higher energy levels than other seniors who don't garden, according to new research.

"New Gardens Bring Back the Past!"

Cranston (RI) Herald & Johnston (RI) Sun Rise
by Beth Hurd

For many who had always had a garden in their younger years, the accessible, raised vegetable gardens recently installed at Morgan Health Centre brought back memories of working the soil and harvesting the fruits of their labor. For others, it provided an opportunity to get outdoors and socialize.

"Senior Care in Westerly, Rhode Island"
Creating Together Journal
Ankney, Iowa
by Carol McGarvey

This phrase on the Web site of Westerly Health Center in Westerly, Rhode Island, speaks volumes: “Optimal well being not only depends on where you live, but how you live.”

"April showers bring 'Accessible' flowers"
PrimeTime Seniors Magazine
Providence, Rhode Island
by Kerry Park

Within five minutes of speaking with 94-year-old Mike Cafone, anyone can discover where his passion lies. A resident of the Westerly Health Center, Mike counts the duties of tending the center's gardens as one of his main responsibilities and pleasures -weeding, watering and eventually sharing the fruits of his labor with others.

"La Rocque Garden"
The Westerly Sun
Westerly, Rhode Island
by Gloria Russell

WESTERLY–Like turning lemons into lemonade, Westerly resident Raymond LaRocque turned a career-ending injury into a new hobby and business enterprise.

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