Sowing the Seeds of Recovery
Gardening is an opportunity to get outside, soak up the sun and improve your health and well-being. The OneEighty Women’s Residential Treatment Center was the perfect location to incorporate gardening as the newest recreational program. “The land that the Noble Foundation gifted to OneEighty for our facility was the perfect setting to incorporate outdoor activities to complement our treatment programming” said Executive Director of OneEighty, Bobbi Douglas. Open since 2019, the women’s facility accommodates 16 women and their children, added a garden, pollinator habitat and prairie installation this year.
The garden was placed close to the house to raise vegetables for use in meal preparation. Eric Snider, a local boy scout, with assistance from his father and grandfather cut and painted the wood for the raised garden beds. Eric, who is on the path to become an Eagle Scout, volunteered to build and implement the garden as his Eagle Service Project. In May, Eric led a team of friends, family, and fellow boy scouts to build three raised garden beds.
A part-time garden specialist, Gillian Desonier-Lewis was hired in June with financial assistance received from the State Opioid Response Grant 2.0 in conjunction with the Mental Health and Recovery Board of Wayne and Holmes Counties. Gillian, a recent graduate from the College of Wooster, received her degree in Environmental Studies with a specialization in Sustainable Agriculture. Her role is to teach the women about planting, managing a garden, harvesting foods and how to preserve the food. “Gardening is a great hobby for individuals working on their recovery or in recovery because getting your hands in the dirt gets you out of your head and reconnecting with your body”, Gillian Desonier-Lewis said.
Reconnecting with your body and nature was the goal of the pollinator habitat. Created by Chris Kovach, she saw it as an opportunity for the residents and staff to “see, learn, and understand the interconnectedness of all life”. The best flowers and plants to have in a pollinator habitat are those native to an area. Chris included hydrangea, sumac, milkweed, goldenrod, blacked-eyed susan and more to the habitat.
OneEighty women’s residential treatment center offers clients a holistic approach to treatment that treats the body, mind, and soul. The garden, pollinator habitat, and a prairie installation, encourage clients to be empowered, gain self-confidence, and becoming part of something bigger than yourself.