The Schenectady ARC Berry Special Garden
Schenectady ARC (SARC) is a 501(c)3 organization that assists over 1,400 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) in Schenectady County, New York to live, work and play in their respective communities. At our Maple Ridge Day Center, we operate a horticulture program in a 3,000 square foot greenhouse that helps 250 individuals with I/DD to learn nursery and greenhouse management, floral design, plant cultivation and potting, traditional gardening techniques, landscape maintenance and plant nutrition. It is also the location of our nationally recognized gardening program, “Know, Grow and Eat Your Vegetables” which increases vegetable consumption among individuals with I/DD in order to mitigate the incidence of heart disease, diabetes and obesity. A $300 Sow it Forward Grant will allow us to expand this program by constructing an 800-square foot garden where our horticulture coordinator and 50 participants will grow and harvest raspberry and blueberry bushes throughout the spring and summer of 2015 (we do not anticipate that our blueberry plants will yield a sufficient amount of mature fruit until the following year). Schenectady ARC staff will then teach these individuals how to incorporate the harvested fruits into a variety of healthy meals and snacks, including an assortment of fruit pies and jams. Ultimately, the project will achieve the goals of helping 50 individuals with I/DD to (a) learn valuable work skills for employment in horticulture careers, (b) increase fruit consumption toward a healthier lifestyle and the continued mitigation of chronic disease, and (c) learn daily living skills that are essential for eventual independent living in the community.
KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.
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Kitchen Gardeners International
3 Powderhorn Drive,
Scarborough, ME, 04074, USA