Monk Botanical Gardens announces
“Spreading Happiness, One Plant at a Time” program.
The Monk Botanical Gardens has partnered with Our House Senior Living and Benedictine Living Community Centers to provide a little joy to their staff and residents this summer. The program aims to immediately provide a plant to each resident and staff member. The plants will be put together by Gardens’ staff and volunteers, and will be delivered July 9th to the centers. For those residents that want to plant the plant themselves, the Gardens will provide the materials and an instruction video. Planting and digging in the soil stirs up microbes. Inhaling these microbes can stimulate serotonin production, which can create relaxation and happiness. “Studies have shown that plants, and taking care of a plant, reduces depression and anxiety and helps to create a healthy environment. While this is a small gesture of love, we hope it brings some joy during this challenging time. We want the residents and staff to know that they are not forgotten and are appreciated, during this very isolating time, “explains Darcie Howard, Executive Director of Monk Botanical Gardens.
The other facets of the program include Gardens’ staff cleaning up and helping to maintain Benedictine Living Community’s court yard and building and installing accessible raised beds and providing accessible tools at Our House to be used by residents to grow food, herbs, and flowers. Once visitors are allowed, Gardens staff will conduct bimonthly programs with the residents using the raised beds as teaching tools.
Mental health is a very real concern during the pandemic. Research has found that gardening has a wide range of health outcomes including reductions in depression, anxiety, and body mass index, as well as increases in life satisfaction, quality of life, and sense of community. Further research on gardening found it improved life satisfaction and mood.
“We are so pleased to receive full support from the B.A. & Ester Greenheck Foundation to make this program happen, “ says Darcie Howard, “ they really understand the need to support the improvement of mental health in our community through innovative ways.” The Spreading Happiness, One Plant at a Time program funding was provided through the B. A. and Ester Greenheck Foundation.
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Photo from Sedona Winds Accessible Gardens.