Adult Day Service (ADS) program participants at Opportunities, Inc. are raking in the benefits of a garden, not only from the produce itself but from the therapeutic benefits of caring for the garden. This is a new adventure for Opportunities, Inc. and so far the participants are enjoying the fresh air and activities.
Melissa Jaeggi, ADS facilitator, read about the therapeutic benefits of gardening and thought it would be a great summer project. “When I found out that Fort Atkinson has a community garden, I thought this would be something great for our Adult Day Services participants. Our participants enjoy learning new skills and they would be able to take what they learned home with them,” Jaeggi stated.
Participants visit their garden plot at United Grove a couple days a week and have planted tomatoes and a variety of peppers so far. Gardening has been proven to evoke the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. It stimulates all senses and enhances the development of social and intellectual skills, especially those for rehabilitation.
“This is also a great way to engage in the community. On our first day out there, fellow gardeners were very friendly in offering conversation and gardening tips,” Jaeggi added.
The United Grove community garden, sponsored by United Way of Jefferson and North Walworth County, offers an ideal educational and therapeutic opportunity for the participants. Opportunities, Inc. is excited to see the growth of the many benefits it has to offer.
Jeff M., ADS program participant, helps by watering the garden.
Jeff, Lance, Maria, and Patti smile after a day’s worth of tending to their vegetables at the United Grove community garden.