Horticultural therapy uses gardening and other plant-based activities, under the guidance of a trained therapist, to achieve social and physical well-being. At Mercy Home, we implemented a horticultural therapy program in 2012 to take advantage of these benefits and help program participants reach therapeutic goals and milestones.
Women and men in Plant-Grow-Give (PGG) program oversee nine urban gardens where they work to plant vegetables, fruits and herbs, care for the earth, and harvest produce. With guidance from the horticultural therapist, each garden is fully accessible, and individuals participate in workshops and programs that highlight the healing properties of plants while helping to manage stress and develop vital social skills.
PGG is also a cornerstone of Mercy Home’s mission and vision to create opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to be more fully integrated within the community. First and foremost, this is essential to elevating their self-esteem and long term well-being. A second but important outgrowth of these programs are the chance they provide to educate and raise awareness in the community, encouraging a shift in societal perceptions and possible misconceptions about intellectual and developmental disabilities.
By donating the PGG harvest to area food pantries, women and men in the program are actively contributing to others – expressing, in the words of long-time supporter Sister Patricia Vetrano, “pride, learning and love” for the community. Each year, more than 2,100 pounds of healthy, fresh food are donated – an incredible statistic showing just how much PGG participants are giving back to the community.
We would be incredibly grateful if you would consider giving back to the community by supporting Mercy Home. A fully tax-deductible contribution can be made via our donate page.