Therapeutic Garden for the Elderly was awarded $600 at Stake #7

Therapeutic Garden for the Elderly

1. Describe the project a STAKE Grant would help you accomplish (100 words):
Guild House West seeks to expand its current gardening program and establish a therapeutic garden at its North Philadelphia location. Such gardens are rapidly becoming the best-practices standard in facilities for the elderly. Unfortunately, start-up costs are prohibitive and the only facilities able to provide such amenities are for the wealthy. However, Guild House West seeks to go above and beyond the barriers of class and become a model for what is possible in HUD Section 8 housing. The therapeutic garden entails a walking path, a pavilion, and additional landscaping, herbs, benches, and garden plots.

2. How will you use the grant toward the realization of your project? $800 is your imaginary budget (50 words):
With $800, Guild House West could purchase the necessary landscaping and hardscaping equipment for the therapeutic garden. We need seeds, perennials, birdhouses, birdfeeders, birdbaths, statues, pots, dirt, and mulch. These items reflect what our residents would like in a therapeutic garden.

3. A little about yourself and what led you to your current creative goals. This may include a previous project of yours, ways it both succeeded and failed (this can be entirely unrelated to your proposal) (100 words):
Guild House West is a 155-unit independent living facility for low-income seniors and disabled individuals, operating under HUD Section 8. Now in our fourth growing season, we have a proven track record of starting gardens, building capacity, and engaging residents. We maintain a community garden, small orchard, and individual gardens for residents to grow their own food.
Unfortunately, our residents are limited by mobility and chronic health concerns. Many cannot be gardeners but would like to spend more time outside. We envision this addition as the next step in making the garden accessible to a broader range of residents.

4. Why is this project important? How will it benefit the community? (100 words):
Many GHW residents were born in the South and became part of the Great Migration, the movement of African Americans who moved North in the thirties and forties. They have encountered frightening injustice and deserve to live in a peaceful home. In the neighborhood, business investment is limited and infrastructure is crumbling. Establishing a therapeutic landscape guarantees a safe and peaceful place for residents to meet, exercise, and rehabilitate, has a documented impact on improved neighborhood safety, and promotes this type of usable, beautiful landscape in other HUD facilities across the city of Philadelphia.