GroMoreGood Grassroots Winners Showcase Accessible Youth Gardens
The days are getting longer, birds are chirping, and temperatures are warming across the country. Spring is in the air!
Just before the first day of spring, we were excited to join our partner The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation in announcing the 150 organizations selected to receive funding from the 2022 GroMoreGood Grassroots Grant to begin or expand a garden or greenspace in their community! Congratulations to the all of the awardees!
Accessibility is a common theme across the cohort of winners. Some organizations are star leaders in accessible gardening while others are planning to make their gardens accessible in the next few months. From designing an accessible garden space to creating an accessible garden path, there are plenty of opportunities to create garden spaces that are perfect for every learner. Let’s take a look at a few of the programs!
Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind, Inc. (Ionia, Michigan)
The garden program at Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind has been growing strong for over eight years. The organization works with children and young adults who are blind or have low vision to build life skills, self-confidence, and independence. Their garden program has Braille labels throughout the garden so that participants know what is in each garden box and what plant they are exploring and harvesting. The garden program will add additional Braille signage throughout the space for improved learning and exploration.
A gardener at Opportunities for the Blind tastes a leaf right from the garden.
Boys & Girls Club of the Wausau Area (Wausau, Wisconsin)
The Boys and Girls Club of Wausau Area plans to construct four elevated garden beds that stand above the ground because some of the garden participants and volunteers have mobility restrictions or sensory processing sensitivities. The former garden was at ground level, and some Club members, staff, and volunteers had difficulty participating due to the required kneeling and squatting. The elevated garden beds will be built in the late spring and early summer of 2022 and will provide learning opportunities for all Club Members.
P37 and The David Marquis School of the Arts (Staten Island, New York)
The garden at P37 and The David Marquis School of the Arts is used for learning, exploring, and having fun! The garden program has plans to make their garden space more accessible. The program will update the areas around the garden beds by adding pavers so that students can get around the garden space. These improvements will create more opportunities for students with disabilities to access the outdoor space and experience hands-on gardening.
The garden space at 37 and The David Marquis School of the Arts will soon have accessible paths!