Building on its national recognition as a leader in connecting horticulture to better health outcomes, Community Health Center, Inc. has received $100,000 to create therapeutic community gardens at three school-based health centers in Connecticut. The funding was awarded by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
CHC will partner with Joseph Melillo Middle School (East Haven), John Berry Elementary School (Meriden) and Pulaski Middle School (New Britain) to develop the gardens with the intent of creating access to affordable, sustainable sources of food, combating obesity, and promoting healthy living through gardening. Students and their families will participate in therapy sessions in the garden and receive education about healthy food choices.
CHC’s commitment to gardens as a pathway to public health began more than 25 years ago, as noted in in the January/February 2019 edition of Horticulture, featuring CHC’s rooftop garden at its clinical headquarters in Middletown. This state-of-the art garden was designed to create green space in an urban environment – and help mitigate the effects of climate change. The Horticulture story can be found here.
“The HRSA award reinforces our commitment to promoting better health and a healthier planet through innovations connecting healthcare and horticulture,” said Mark Masselli, CHC CEO and Founder. “We look forward to engaging with the students and their families through this school-based initiative, which we hope will serve as a model for other schools throughout the state.”