Gardening can have amazing benefits for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities. Beyond providing healthy food, it’s a fun and positive way to get exercise, increase socialization, instill self-confidence, and help the individuals we serve feel productive. When we garden, we are moving our focus onto something other than ourselves, and it’s extremely gratifying to see the fruits of our labor grow and thrive.
At Evergreen, our Horticultural Programs are one of the most popular offerings we provide. They increase a sense of pride, and we look forward to growing these programs throughout the communities that we serve. Here are five of the most important benefits of gardening for individuals with disabilities.
- Increases Socialization
Our gardens give the people we serve the opportunity to make friends and socialize. We’ve witnessed friendships blossom as well as our crops! We all need an occasional break from our routine and trying new things and meeting new people adds to the joy of life.
- Allows Us to Enjoy the Great Outdoors
There’s nothing better for the soul than getting out in the sunshine and getting fresh air. Sometimes, reconnecting with nature and trying something new is just what we need to get a new lease on life and improve our mood.
- Helps Us Stay Physically Active
Gardening requires a lot of physical activity! It’s an excellent way to get moving. Not only does it get the blood flowing, but gardening also helps with flexibility and can help you feel physically better.
- Improves Hand-Eye Coordination
Because of the many different types of movement involved, gardening can lead to improved hand-eye coordination. It can also help the people we serve learn or re-learn grasping and holding objects, and improve gross motor skills by participating in activities like raking or digging.
- Serving a Purpose
Helping to produce healthy fruits and vegetables gives the people we serve a sense of purpose. It also allows them to learn a new hobby and skill, relieves stress, and gives them a sense of responsibility.
To learn more about how you can help support Evergreen Life Services and enrich the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, contact us today!