BRANCHBURG When doctors first diagnosed Laura DePrado with a brain tumor, she felt as if she had been set free. Then studying horticultural therapy at Rutgers University, DePrado said that it was only when she received the diagnosis that she truly felt motivated to celebrate and raise awareness about what she calls “the people-plant connection.”
Years later, DePrado, now a horticultural therapy practitioner and a Rotary District 7510 coordinator, helped break ground Thursday on an Enabling Garden at Raritan Valley Community College’s campus in the North Branch section of the township, an initiative brought about through partnerships with RVCC, Rutgers University and Eagle Scout Patrick O’Rourke of Pittstown.
The concept behind Enabling Gardens is simple: to provide a 100 percent accessible garden for therapeutic enjoyment by people with disabilities. Designed to span 5,000 square feet across the RVCC Conference Center, the garden will contain a motley assortment of plants, ranging from Sweet William, Creeping Phlox, Swamp Milkweed, Black-eyed Susan, Blue Waxweed, Spearmint and Oregano to Wild Geranium and Foxglove Beard-Tongue. The plants were chosen specifically for the sensory benefits they could provide to visitors by the way they feel, smell, look or even taste, according to Brian O’Rourke, RVCC’s executive director of facilities & grounds and father of Eagle Scout Patrick O’Rourke.
Published by: mycentraljersery.com