Comfoods Help Identifying Healing Garden Projects and Research

Hi, James. Here in LA, there is a garden at VA using horticultural therapy. I’ve never been there, but I think that it’s still part of the program. Not too far from where I live, in Covina, CA, a center for children with special needs as well as for children with all ability, they created a Danielle’s garden. Here is the website:

I recently went to the American Horticultural Therapy Conference hosted here. It was a great conference. They are working to put together research studies related to horticultural therapy and will post on their website. They may already have done that.

Here is the AHTA website:

You may want to get in touch with Paula, the director of the Covina Development Center. She is so amazing. She’s our local Alice Waters, such an inspiration. The garden is beautiful. The grandmother of one of the children with special needs donated for the garden. Students from Cal. Poly Pomona came and helped to put it together in a weekend!

Hope this helps.

Diana Liu

Dear James, I am putting you in touch with colleagues from Farmer Veteran Coalition who should be able to connect you… They are probably more practitioners than researchers, but it’s a start. I also know the Master Gardener and Demonstration gardens manager at Rodale Institute. She works with at risk kids and others as therapy. Here name is Eileen Weinsteiger. She is a very close friend. Tell her I sent you. Email:

Good luck.

Michelle Frain Muldoon
Program Officer
Wallace Center at Winrock International

Look at the site for the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
They should list resources and people to contact.

Hope this helps,

Adele Gravitz, ASLA
Landscape Architecture
8121 Inverness Ridge Road
Potomac, Maryland 20854

Greetings James,

My name is Joshua Anderson, I was recently forwarded your email concerning veterans and horticulture.

I am a member of two veterans organizations growing nationally as the nexus point between agriculture and veterans issues.

From the Farmer Veteran Coalition we are building a network offering veterans employment, educational and vocational opportunities, as well as advisory for many veterans interested or actively engaged at all levels of agriculture.

As the future farm manager of the Valley Forge Village my role will be to offer veterans an opportunity to decompress from deployment, readjust back into their communities with families, while at the same time offer an entire village based on food production systems in which the entire food chain will work as a therapeutic and incubator job training program.

Academically I know there are groups engaged in research as well as some wishing to develop more as our national model expands.

I am very intersted to learn about your organization and maybe discuss further each others ideas.

If interested I highly recommend visiting our sites and get in contact with us.

Though wandering ‘round the US for the last year, I am currently in Charlottesville VA.

Joshua Anderson

Farmer Veteran Coalition
Veteran Outreach

Valley Forge Village
Future Farm Manager

On Mon, Nov 9, 2009 at 9:16 AM, Sasha Cuerda <> wrote:

I believe that there are some researchers at the University of Illinois in either the department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism or the Applied Health Sciences schools who are conducting research on the use of gardens with aging and disabled populations. I know we have a park in town that was built specifically for seniors which is a bit different from what you’re asking, but I’m sure someone there is better aware of who is doing what research in this area. I can’t find a specific name for you but you may want to send an email to the department email box.

Here is the department website:

Ah, found something more specific:

Hope this helps,


On Mon, Nov 9, 2009 at 9:23 AM, Rebecca Sparks <> wrote:
Check out the Bridge in NYC that works mostly with the chronically mentally ill. I believe they have a roof garden as well as an urban farm.

Rebecca A Sparks, MS, RD
Community Nutrition Educator
Adjunct- New York University Dept of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health
p. 212–864–2001
m. 646–229–1811
upstate. 518–854–8011

On Mon, Nov 9, 2009 at 9:51 AM, Johanna Kolodny <> wrote:
Outside NYC there are two facilities that I think have farms for citizens with physical and/or emotional challenges.
1. Green Chimneys
2. The Center for Discovery/ Thanksgiving Farm

johanna kolodny

On Mon, Nov 9, 2009 at 10:22 AM, Lloyd Hicks <> wrote:
There’s a book that came out this year called “Restorative Commons: Creating Health and Well-being through Urban Landscapes”.

The first three chapters are about how gardens contribute to well-being, and there is also a chapter on garden design for those with disabilities.

On Mon, Nov 9, 2009 at 10:51 AM, Joseph Baldwin <> wrote:
Hi James,

I am working on a project called the “mobile garden” in Chicago —

I imagine in addition to healing some of the habitat corridors it might also serve as a healing garden to the millions of riders of the CTA including half of which are dependent riders who have no other form of trans.

Thank you,

Joe Baldwin
Chicago: (773) 789–7494
St. Louis: (618) 789–7494

On Mon, Nov 9, 2009 at 12:04 PM, Natalie A. <> wrote:

argus in south bronx, growing in a greenhouse, at least is doing rehabilitative work in NYC.

There’s a garden in New England (either Hartford Area or western MA) working with mental-health challenged youth. Derek Mitchell in Lowell is also working with socially disadvantaged youth and considers himself a youth worker using gardening as the mechanism for healing.

The former presented at NOFA summer conf. in 2007, the latter in summer 2009.

I’ll see if I can dig up some names for you, but if you can get hold of the NOFA program lists for those years, you can get more info on the speakers.


On Mon, Nov 9, 2009 at 7:27 PM, karla cook <> wrote:
did you see this?

from Fireball Communications:

This sounds very cool. Rodale Institute that is referenced in the original e-mail has a significant amount of resources and information - maybe even a source for grants? Tony Ends of Churches Center for Land and People held them in high esteem.

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the society of Arts in Healthcare did a large
project on healing gardens
you should check in with them

i may be able to uncover some other sources
will send along
good luck

i’d also call the American Horticulture Society
they may have some resources for you:

fyi: I am developing Legacy Gardens, an initiative with National Center
on Creative Aging— the project is using gardens (edible and ornamental) as venues
for intergenerational activities

marsha weiner

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Hope that this email finds you well.

I suggest that the Horticulture therapy association would likely have the info that you are seeking as they, conduct research in the areas of the benefits of Hort. therapy and are not confined to physical disability.

As you are well aware there are many levels of healing that occurs from exposure to plants and the like.

Good luck in your quest JAn

Jan Alba, Special Projects Coordinator
Urban Agriculture, Milwaukee County Cooperative Extension
Phone : 414 256 4651
Hearing impaired relay: 711

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Last edited by Commonwealth Citizen. Based on work by Tyler Schuster.  Page last modified on November 13, 2009

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