National Garden Bureau, American Meadows and Sakata Seed America Award Therapeutic Garden Grants

DOWNERS GROVE, IL — National Garden Bureau, along with program sponsors American Meadows and Sakata Seed America are proud to announce the therapeutic gardens receiving grants and in-kind donations totaling more than $5,000.

The two winning gardens are:

·         Capper Foundation Gardens, Topeka, Kansas

First place vote-recipient; winner of a $3,000 grant.

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 the 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 the gardens.

·         Mary Free Bed Therapeutic Garden, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Runner-Up; winner of a $2,000 grant.

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.

National Garden Bureau, American Meadows, Sakata Seed America and product in-kind sponsor, Corona Tools, would like to recognize all of the grant applicants that participated this year. All are listed on the NGB website.  NGB encourages support of these and other therapeutic gardens by the industry, local communities, and individuals.

The judges who read through all applications and narrowed them down to the three finalists deserve a huge thank-you. Those judges are:

Patty Cassidy, Vice President of the American Horticultural Therapy Association

Barbara Kreski, Retired Director, Horticultural Therapy, Chicago Botanic Garden

Alicia Green, Buehler Enabling Garden Coordinator, Chicago Botanic Garden

Isabel Fuenzalida, Culture & Organizational Development, Sakata Seed America

Mike Lizotte, Owner/Managing Partner at American Meadows

For more information about National Garden Bureau, please contact Diane Blazek.

·         National Garden Bureau promotes the health and healing powers of human interaction with plants through a yearly grant program for therapeutic gardens.

·         Sakata Seed America is a leader in breeding vegetable and ornamental seed and vegetative cuttings. They are committed to supporting organizations throughout North America to help people live productive, healthy and enriched lives.

·         American Meadows says “We Do Good Through Gardening.” Their primary focus is to be great at providing home gardeners with the products and knowledge they need to succeed. 

·         Founded in the 1920s, Corona, Inc. is a leader in the marketing and manufacturing of professional and consumer tools for the lawn and garden, landscape, irrigation, construction and agriculture markets.