Raritan Valley Community College, in partnership with the Rotary Club of Branchburg, broke ground on an Enabling Garden, October 1, at the College’s Branchburg Campus. The Rotary Club of Branchburg Foundation provided $3,500 of “seed money” for the 5,000 square-foot garden, which will be located next to RVCC’s Conference Center.
The Enabling Garden is one of several such gardens in Central New Jersey created as part of a partnership between Rotary International District 7510 (Central New Jersey) and Rutgers University and its entities, New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) and Cooperative Extension.
Launched in 2011, the “Rotary and Rutgers: Growing Lives One Seed at a Time” initiative features barrier-free, accessible gardens, and/or activities, provided with modifications to be enjoyed by people with disabilities. Nine pilots, through the “Growing Lives” project in Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset, and Union counties, promote the benefits of working with plants for people of all ages, regardless of their physical or mental challenges.
At RVCC, the project will feature a variety of plants providing sensory stimulation for smell, sight, touch, taste, and sound.
Based on seasonal availability, plants could include: Wild Geranium, Large Beard-tongue, Foxglove Beard-tongue, Fall Phlox, Sweet William, Creeping Phlox, Turk’s Cap Lily, Swamp Milkweed (to host Monarch butterflies), New England Aster, Switchgrass, Big Bluestem grass, Black-eyed Susan, Jewelweed, Woolly Ragwort, Blue Waxweed, Purple Tridens grass, Spearmint, Peppermint, Oregano, and Sage.
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