In Spring of 2017, MADO Healthcare-Douglas Park planned and constructed an urban garden. Garden boxes were custom built to maximize the planting space in the center’s outdoor area. Once all had been prepped for the space, careful thought went into choosing plants. Clients and staff worked together to plant fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers. Well before hands were digging in the dirt, excitement bloomed about the prospect of an on-site client led and operated garden. The garden at MADO Healthcare-Douglas Park is now in full bloom. The summer brought a harvest of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and peas. The smell of homegrown basil, lavender and rosemary is present, and daisies, geraniums, and bee balm flowers ornament the space with splashes of color.
The Workforce Recovery Program at MADO Healthcare-Douglas Park now has a number of job positions in the garden. Clients work daily and weekly to water, prune, weed, and maintain the vegetation. Their work produces something all those at the center enjoy. The fresh air and physical activity of working in the garden has been an additional way for some to be involved in their recovery. Taking care of flowers and plants encourages responsibility and accountability that has given a sense of fulfillment to all those who have gotten their hands in this garden’s dirt.