The Work

the work

At one Greater-Boston prison, 2nd-year students participate in a Greenhouse Master Class. 

At one Greater-Boston prison, 2nd-year students participate in a Greenhouse Master Class

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.

The Annual Northeast Prison Garden Educators Retreat in December, 2016

The Annual Northeast Prison Garden Educators Retreat in December, 2016

Supporting PRISON GARDENS ACROSS THE NORTHEAST

In addition to bringing horticulture professionals into local prisons each week, we believe in building regional capacity to expand this work. To this end, we are founding organizers of The Northeast Prison Garden Educators Collaborative. The Collaborative brings together educators from across the region to promote prison horticulture,  share curricular resources and best practices. We also co-host an Annual Retreat...

SAVE  THE  DATE !

3rd Annual NORTHEAST PRISON GARDEN EDUCATORS RETREAT

Hotchkiss School Farm Campus, 400 Sharon Rd, Lakeville, CT

Saturday, January 20, 2018

10:30am - 6:30pm

The Retreat is FREE and open to all educators working at the intersection of prison and horticulture in our region. Discounted local lodging is available. Lunch and dinner are included, thanks to generous support from The Hotchkiss School Farm Campus. For more information or to RSVP, write info@thenewgardensociety.org or call 617-390-5085.

OUR SERVICES

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 info@thenewgardensociety.org. 

The New Garden Society works alongside incarcerated students to grow edible and ornamental landscapes, exposing students to a wide range of plants. 

The New Garden Society works alongside incarcerated students to grow edible and ornamental landscapes, exposing students to a wide range of plants. 

We offer:

  • 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).

For deeper insight into the theory and practice of our work, visit www.thenewgardensociety.org/resources.