Callanwolde Fine Arts Center is working in partnership with Trellis Horticultural Therapy Alliance to build a greenhouse and garden space that can be enjoyed by all. They are calling the space “The Ability Garden.” The garden will be wheelchair-accessible and is designed to serve youth and adults living with physical or cognitive disabilities.
Trellis and Callanwolde are also offering garden therapy programs and hands-on learning activities. The goal of the garden, according to Trellis co-founder Rachel Cochran, is to “reconnect individuals that have been typically disconnected from gardening and nature as a result of impaired mobility to experience nature and the joy of working with plants to improve quality of life”
Cochran joined “City Lights” host Lois Reitzes along with Brooke Adams, co-arts education director for Callanwolde, to talk about the gardens and the programs that will be offered.
Callanwolde will be hosting a Grand Opening Event Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m.
Cochran on her organization Trellis:
“We’re a fairly young nonprofit. But I feel like we’re really breaking down barriers in the world of accessible gardening. Trellis has a co-founder, her name is Wendy Battaglia. And Wendy currently works on a part-time basis at the Shepherd Center, working as a horticultural therapist with brain and spinal cord injury patients. So we are very, very well versed in disability.”
On the power of gardening:
“Gardening is such a normalizing experience that pretty much everyone has some familiarity and comfort with. Horticultural therapy focuses on goals. …It’s a wonderful, happy place to be if you’re in a recovery scenario, like a rehab hospital. But the other angle is there’s a lot of emotional support that comes with gardening. …It’s ve y powerful, the way people just become alive, you know, when they’re in a gardening scenario.”