Defining therapeutic horticulture


Shelley Ryan, host of the Wisconsin Gardener Program and Mike Maddox, Rock County’s Horticultural Educator with UW–Extension discuss what therapeutic horticulture is in this Wisconsin PBS short video

Watch this short  and informative video

Dunn County Jail Garden Project

Several of Dunn County Master Gardener Volunteers assist with the Dunn Co. Jail Garden Project by consulting about soil amendments, helping supervise and assist with Huber inmates with planting, weeding and harvesting the vegetables, as well as planting some fruit trees for future harvest. The produce is used by the jail for inmate meals but some food also goe to the local food pantry.

Garden of Hope in Eau Claire

The Eau Clair Master Gardener Volunteer Association and the American Cancer Society (ACS) joined together to create a Garden of Hope. Over 30 MGVs and cancer survivors gathered at the Eau Claire Co. Exposition Center for a dedication reception to honor the Garden of Hope’s first growing season. With 800 daffodils spelling out the word “HOPE”, Eau Claire joins other communities across the US that have planted a Garden of Hope with daffodils arranged in the same manner.

Enabling garden at Phoenix Park Community Garden in Eau Claire

MGV Intern Karen J. Olson and City Council Member Andrew Werthmann teamed up to build seven raised beds at the Phoenix Park Community Garden location. Over 75 community volunteers came together this spring to make the beds and brick pathways to ready the gardens. The UW-Eau Claire Best Buddies group (a group of college students who pair with adults with special needs in the community in one-on-one friendships) and MGVs maintained the beds throughout the growing season. They grew herbs that were donated to the Community Table and the Campus Kitchen Project. Several community organizations donated time and supplies for this project.  For more information contact Karen J. Olson at

Garden club for 3rd graders in Beloit WI

For the past four years John Ramstad has been leading an effort on behalf of Community Action to build a community sharing garden in one of Beloit’s more challenged neighborhoods.  A host of volunteers, college students, and neighbors are now gardening five city lots with all of the produce being shared with neighbors.

Last summer, John started working with a very creative third grade teacher and her class at Merrill Elementary on the topic of gardening.  The students helped maintain a small community garden on school property this past summer.

This school year, the students are interested in forming a garden club made up of 15 or so third graders who are in the after school program.  Volunteers will provide basic, fun sessions with the group related to healthy food and gardening.  John has set up an area under indoor light at the school where the students can grow greens and propagate plants so they can garden all winter.  In the spring students will start sets for the school’s garden. 

For information, contact John Ramstad, MGV, (608) 313-1335 or

Holy Family Memorial in Manitowoc has impressive healing gardens

Holy Family Memorial in Manitowoc, Wisconsin has created three beautiful garden space for the patients, visitors and employees of the hospital.  You can view photos of the healing garden at their website or click on the link below:

Gardens at Holy Family Memorial


Healing garden at Aurora Medical Center in Two Rivers, WI

The Aurora Medical Center in Two Rivers, Wisconsin has a beautiful healing garden.  The following is a link to a flickr™ photostream showcasing the garden’s beauty.

Pre-kinder-‘gardeners’ grow garlic in Hurley WI

This article was originally printed in Your Daily Globe  11/2/2012.

HURLEY – Pre-kindergarten students at the Hurley K-12 School got their hands dirty on Thursday planting garlic in the school garden.

Deb Leonard, educator for the Wisconsin Nutrition Education Program for the Iron County University of Wisconsin-Extension office, has taken every class from pre-k through sixth grade out to the garden to learn more about garlic.

“The kids learned how to plant garlic, when it will grow and what we can do with it,” Leonard said. “A lot of the kids talked about how their parents or grandparents planted garlic, and how they were the same.”

It is the second school-wide project that has taken place in the garden. This summer, students planted lettuce and radishes used in the salad bar for three meals at the school.

“Our goal for the garlic is to use some in a spaghetti sauce for a meal,” Leonard said. “We don’t know yet if the meal will be community-based or just in the school, because we’re still planning it out.” For some students, planting garlic was their first gardening experience, according to Leonard.

Deb Leonard can be reached at Wisconsin Nutrition Education Program, Iron County – UW-Extension, 300 Taconite Street, Suite 118, Hurley, WI 54534. Phone:  715-561-2695, Extension 2117, Fax:  715-561-2704 Email:

Alternatively, you can contact Joy Schelble also of Iron County – UW Extension.  She serves as the Wisconsin Nutrition Education Program  and provides horticulture information to and for the county.  Her contact information is as follows: Joy Schelble, Iron County – UW-Extension, 300 Taconite Street, Suite 118, Hurley, WI 54534. Phone:  715-561-2695, Extension 2123, Fax:  715-561-2704. Email:

Aspirus Grand View Hospital

 The Range Master Gardener association is a volunteer service organization comprised of Wisconsin and Michigan Master Gardeners who live in  Gogebic County, Michigan  and Iron County, Wisconsin. Each year, hospital employees and Range Master Gardener Volunteers garden together.  In 2010, Master Gardener volunteers participated in a massive grounds beautification project, installing 12,000 spring bulbs around the hospital and clinic.  Range Master Gardener Volunteers also provided guidance on planning a new meditation garden at the rear of hospital.  To learn more about the group’s role at the hospital, please contact contact: the Range Master Gardener Association at or call 906-932-3509 to find out the current Aspirus Grang View Hospital project lead.

Master Gardener Volunteers assist Lasata Horticulture Therapy Program in Ozaukee County


Lasata Care Center is the nursing home operated by Ozaukee County at W76 N677 Wauwatosa Rd., Cedarburg.  Through out the year, Ozaukee County Master Gardener Volunteers assist residents in the Garden Club and other activities in the green house.  Enabled gardening in raised beds with assistance from volunteers allows residents to garden as their limits allow.  To learn more about their programming please contact the Ozaukee Master Gardeners, Ozaukee County University Extension Office, 121 W Main St, PO Box 994, Port Washington WI 53074.  Phone: 262/284-8288 or 262/238-8288 or email

Advocates for Women and Children Center

Ozaukee Master Gardener Volunteers maintain existing gardens as well as upgrade and plant new gardens while controlling invasive species at the Advocates for Women and Children Center.  The Advocates Center provides a safe place for victims of abuse and the gardens planted and maintained by Master Gardeners are part of the healing process for these victims.  At the present time, they do not offer therapeutic programming to the populations the center serves.  However, many women and children will approach the Master Gardener Volunteers when they are seen working in the gardens and they naturally become welcoming garden ambassadors. 

For more information please contact the Ozaukee Master Gardeners, Ozaukee County University Extension Office, 121 W Main St, PO Box 994, Port Washington WI 53074.  Phone: 262/284-8288 or 262/238-8288 or email

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