Grantee Blog 2020

Gardening Here, There, and Everywhere

As a part of this project, residential and day programs will have the opportunity to accept a home garden to be built at their residence/program location where feasible. These gardens will be used to incorporate healthy living into the daily activities of individuals with disabilities. By bringing gardens to the residential and day programs themselves as well as providing programming at the Toms River Field of Dreams, we can ensure sustainability beyond the life of this project.

Upon visiting the Toms River Field of Dreams, participants will engage with community gardens and attend programming run by the Ocean County Health Department. If an agency is interested in having a garden built at their residential/day program location, they can make this request through the Inclusive Gardening: Cultivating Health for All project. The garden will then be built by the OCHD and established to produce healthy, nutritious fruits/vegetables. This will allow participants to regularly tend to their own gardens, and utilize the yielded crops in healthy recipes. Our registered dietician can work with participants to setup a meal plan or recommend recipes to fit dietary restrictions as well.

With access to individualized gardens, individuals with disabilities will have the advantage of actively tending to gardens in the comfort of their residential group home or at a day program they regularly attend. This will ultimately increase their physical activity on a regular basis. Another added benefit of having access to gardens is improved motor skill development from tending to gardens through planting, watering, weeding, pruning, and collecting of produce. As time goes on, we look forward to providing our partners with these smaller community gardens to complement programming and larger scale gardening at the Toms River Field of Dreams!

About the Grantee

Ocean County Health Department

In partnership with our community, we are committed to serving as a leader to promote healthy lifestyles, ensure a clean and safe environment, and provide high-quality public health services to protect our present and future generations.