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Trellis Horticultural Therapy breaks ground on ability garden at Legacy Park

Decatur

Trellis Horticultural Therapy breaks ground on ability garden at Legacy Park

A community garden is proposed to be located next to Nickerson Cottage at Legacy Park in Decatur. Photo by Zoe Seiler.
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Decatur, GA — Trellis Horticultural Therapy Alliance has broken ground on its ability garden at Legacy Park.

Legacy Decatur, the nonprofit that oversees Legacy Park, authorized the staff to move forward with leasing a space for the garden in September 2023.

Trellis Horticulture Therapy Alliance and Decatur resident Carson Williford have been working with the Wylde Center to create a community garden space at Legacy Park. The garden will be on the north side of Nickerson Cottage, the stone cottage facing the front lawn.

Trellis Horticulture Therapy Alliance is a nonprofit that offers garden therapy for people who are living with cognitive disabilities, physical disabilities, and mental illness.

Trellis has received a $10,000 grant from Food Well Alliance to help build the Legacy Park garden.

“Trellis and the Trellis Ability Garden are currently located at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, where Trellis has spent four years running gardening programs for people living with cognitive disabilities, physical disabilities, and mental illness. Trellis’s move to Legacy Park will allow it to double the size of its accessible garden and incorporate twenty community garden beds for rent to people of all abilities,” Williford told Decaturish.

The green circle on the map shows the location of Trellis Horticultural Therapy’s ability garden at Legacy Park in Decatur. Photo provided to Decaturish.

The community garden beds would be rented to individuals in the community. He added that Trellis is now seeking gardeners to rent the community garden beds. Anyone interested in renting a community garden bed or helping build the Trellis Ability Garden at Legacy Park is encouraged to fill out a Google Form from Trellis. To fill out the form, click here.

The project includes several three-foot tall accessible beds for Trellis programs, teaching space for Trellis programs, about 20 community garden beds, a shed to store tools and equipment, and a crushed slate path.

“A garden space is a great way to get people moving and to eat the fresh produce that they grow. Research shows that people benefit with their mental health when they’re in an outdoor space and when they’re in the community,” Trellis Director of Programming and Volunteers Shelly Roberts previously said. “Also, we think this garden would attract people of all different backgrounds and all different abilities and create a communal space where people would be mingling with each other, sharing tips, and learning from each other.”

A five-person board will oversee the garden’s management. The board will include Roberts, Williford, Trellis Co-founder Rachel Cochran, and two community garden members.

“The committee will make decisions regarding the operations of the garden and will create a set of rules regarding the general upkeep and maintenance of the space,” Trellis’ Food Well Alliance grant application says. “For a garden to be truly accessible, it must be kept safe and clean from clutter.”

Williford will be the main point of contact for those who rent beds.

“He will have oversight of the community beds and will work with members to ensure that rules are followed and spaces are kept clean and safe,” the grant application states. “Trellis Program Manager Shelly Roberts will oversee the programmatic areas of the garden and will work with Trellis employees and volunteers to keep those areas clean and safe.”

The garden will open with a plant sale on April 13 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. as part of Legacy Park’s Community Day Festival.

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