There's nothing quite like the experience of digging in the dirt, planting a seed, watching it grow and develop into something beautiful. At Tri-Valley, we're proud to offer a unique Horticulture Therapy program to individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities. This service gives those we serve the opportunity to learn new skills, gain knowledge and types of plants and their needs, and gives them the opportunity to care for something else.
WHAT IS HORTICULTURE THERAPY?
The therapeutic benefits of garden environments have been documented since ancient times. In the 19th century, Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and recognized as the "Father of American Psychiatry," was first to document the positive effect working in the garden had on individuals with mental illness.
Horticultural therapy is widely used within a broad range of rehabilitative, vocational, and community settings.
Horticultural therapy techniques are used to assist participants to learn new skills or regain those that are lost. Horticultural therapy helps improve memory, cognitive abilities, task initiation, language skills, and socialization. In physical rehabilitation, horticultural therapy can help strengthen muscles and improve coordination, balance, and endurance. In vocational horticultural therapy settings, people learn to work independently, problem solve, and follow directions.
ABOUT THE TRI-VALLEY PROGRAM
Tri-Valley's greenhouse and garden is located at the Fort Scott Service Center. The program has been made possible by the generosity of the community and countless donors and volunteers.
The facility features a 2,200 sq. ft. greenhouse as well as a fully-accessible outdoor garden. The raised beds and tables are specifically designed with the physical capabilities of the persons served by Tri-Valley in mind. The garden also includes water features, and plants that attract birds and butterflies for visitors to enjoy.
WHAT TYPES OF PLANTS ARE GROWN?
A wide-variety of plants including annuals, perennials, succulents, vegetables and ferns are grown through our horticultural program. Each Christmas, a crop of poinsettias are grown.
CAN THE PLANTS BE PURCHASED?
We offer plant sales at the Fort Scott Service Center throughout the year, as well as coordinate with local plant distributors to sell our plants to the community at large. The funds generated from the sale of the plants goes back to the program, and allows us to buy more materials and expand the service.
WHAT ABOUT OTHER INVOLVEMENT IN THE COMMUNITY?
Horticulture Therapy participants take great pride in showing off their hard work. Many persons served choose to participate in county fairs or farmers markets.