First place and winner of a $3,000 grant
For over 18 years, The Learning Garden has connected the community with organic horticulture, hands-on gardening therapy, and cultivation practices. The garden also has longstanding partnerships with the UC Master Gardeners Program and Yo San University of Traditional Medicine, bringing students and the community closer to nature for healing arts and education on the benefits of plants in one’s life. This uniqueness will be extended by the new Rootworks initiative. Rootworks provides mental health therapy to the community through garden-based classes and activities. Joining modern therapeutic practices and hands-on horticulture projects, the program gives participants holistic support as they overcome addictions – targeting root conditions such as anxiety, depression, and stress. The program offers an alternative form of therapy that invites client participation in a horticultural project that boosts serotonin levels, builds self-esteem, and positively impacts the larger community.