The Kane Regional Center in Ross Township has partnered with the Valley Care Association, the Ross Park Home Depot store, and the Home Depot Foundation to bring a wheelchair-accessible garden to the residents. The garden will be built on June 8 by Home Depot employees who are volunteering their time and expertise to the project.
The program began last year in Beaver County, where a specially designed raised garden was built for a senior gardener who had become disabled. The success of the program led John Seitz, coordinator for Valley Care Association's Home Safe Home program, to expand the accessible garden program to nursing, personal care, and independent living homes in eight additional locations throughout southwestern Pennsylvania.
"Valley Care Association's Home Safe Home program is thrilled to be a part of this project," said Seitz. "Part of our mission is to improve accessibility for older adults, and this garden will be a great example of how all residents, regardless of ability, can participate in the life of their community."
The Home Depot Foundation has provided grant funding that will be used to cover the cost of materials, such wood, fencing, mulch, and tools. The Ross Park Home Depot store signed on to provide volunteer labor and donations of soil and plants to help complete the garden.
"Our employees are very excited to be a part of this project," said store manager Phil Rogers. "They love to give back, and this garden is going to be something that the residents at Kane will enjoy for years to come."
The residents of Kane Ross are also excited to get started with their gardens. "We have three very active gardeners who start their plants from seed in April," said Dana Nicodemus, Recreation Supervisor at Kane Ross. "As soon as the project is complete, they are ready to get started. At the end of the growing season, we cook all the vegetables we harvest and everyone gets to enjoy it."
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