Horticulture Training for Incarcerated Students in Greater-Boston
The New Garden Society has trained over 500 incarcerated and detained students in the art and science of plants. In prisons, prison hospitals and youth facilities, our students are 13- 80 years old. Every week in prison classrooms, we teach core horticulture concepts. In prison gardens and greenhouses, students apply these concepts, find healing and build job skills. TNGS' prison-based trainings are taught by horticulturists, farmers, landscapers and other green industry professionals, bringing their diverse plant expertise and land care experiences to every 'classroom.'
Since 2013, The New Garden Society has facilitated year-round educational opportunities in partnership with The MA Department of Correction. We currently lead vocational training programs at the Massachusetts Treatment Center and Old Colony Correctional Center in Bridgewater, MA. In 2015-2016, TNGS facilitated a pilot Summer Plant Lab to support high school science learning at a MA Department of Youth Services facility in Boston. From 2013-2016, TNGS also ran the horticulture training program at MA DOC's Bridgewater State Hospital, prior to the facility's privatization.
join the NORTHEAST PRISON GARDEN COLLABORATIVE
If you work with plants and prisons in the Northeast and want to join the regional conversation, email firstname.lastname@example.org with LISTSERV in the subject line. Each winter, The Northeast Prison Garden Collaborative hosts an annual retreat open to all who work at the intersection of horticulture and the criminal justice system.
The New Garden Society is a non-profit organization that provides therapeutic and vocational horticulture training. In all its endeavors, The New Garden Society partners with host agencies to design and implement programming that supports participants’ wellbeing. Organized in 2013, TNGS responded to students' voiced need for horticulture instructors in the Massachusetts Department of Corrections. To explore the possibilities for horticulture training at your facility, contact email@example.com.
- Design, installation and maintenance of restorative gardens,
- Site-specific, classroom and landscape-based vocational trainings in Horticulture Concepts and Practice to meet the unique security requirements, length-of-stay and learning needs of incarcerated individuals, and
- Professional development trainings for affiliated staff.
As described by The Horticulture Society of New York, 'Horticultural therapy is an ancient practice that uses plants and gardens as tools in human healing and rehabilitation. Its benefits include stress reduction, mood improvement, alleviation of depression, social growth, physical and mental rehabilitation, wellness, and vocational training.'
TNGS's professional affiliations include the American Horticultural Therapy Association (AHTA), Northeastern Organic Farming Association (NOFA), and The Northeast Horticultural Therapy Network (NEHTN).