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Horticulture Therapy Program Helping Service Members and Veterans at Hampton VA

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The Natural Recovery Program at the Hampton Veterans’ Administration Hospital is a healing element used to improve the lives of wounded warriors whose beings have been disrupted by illness and injury.  A part of the Natural Recovery Program is the Horticultural Therapy Program.  Horticultural Therapy uses live plants and gardening activities to help service members and veterans cope with mental and physical changes that have occurred, oftentimes unexpectedly, in their lives.


Participants in the Horticultural Therapy Program are involved in the creation, design, and maintenance of both floral and vegetable gardens.  Projects include endeavors such as starting seedlings in the fall and winter in cold frames and then transplanting them to beds on hospital grounds.  The many activities are fashioned to highlight the benefits of gardening to include cognitive, occupational, physical, and spiritual development.  Service members and veterans taking part in the program often express the sense of pride they feel when they see the results of their work.  Additionally, staff, patients, and visitors of the hospital are able to enjoy the beauty the many gardens bring to facility grounds.


The Horticultural Therapy Program at the Veterans’ Hospital is led by a trained hospital staff member and supported by American Red Cross volunteers.  Additionally, the American Red Cross backs the program by procuring the bulk of supplies and materials needed to facilitate the activities. The organization is extremely grateful to businesses such as Ken Matthews Garden Center for donations which help to keep the program operational.      


For more information on the Horticultural Therapy Program and other activities supporting our men and women in uniform, please contact the American Red Cross at 757 878 3339.