Inspired by similar programs in California, Nova Scotia and in British Columbia, The Phoenix Garden Project team of community volunteers are helping to develop an innovative arts-based curriculum that combines mindfulness and creativity with hands-on gardening and landscaping training for inmates at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary in St. John’s, NL.
Participants are given this amazing opportunity to connect to the natural world while strengthening other bonds too—to the self, to each other, and to the community.
The inmates have named the program and designed the logo. They will take responsibility for cultivation, weeding, watering, and feeding. They will harvest from “their” gardens and the food they have grown will be shared with their fellow inmates and with the wider community. In this way, the inmates will learn a lot and will make a meaningful contribution to each other and to their community.
We are about to make our biggest step! We have collaborated with John Howard Society of NL and Sun Valley Greenhouses to install an 8’ X 20’ greenhouse and raised beds inside the walls at HMP. We have started a campaign to raise funds to help with the build. You can help to support a transformation from prison yard to beautiful garden. Your gift has an exciting two-fold result: donations will help us build the greenhouse and support the ongoing work of the Phoenix Garden Project, and your gift will also celebrate the work of the John Howard Society-NL.Check out our website http://www.hmppgp.ca/ for lots of information on this amazing project plus a link to donate.
Check out CBC’s “Here and Now” interview with Phoenix Garden Project group members Dr. Jan Buley of MUN Faculty of Education and Tim Walsh of MUN Botanical Garden
Please feel free to share this information with your friends too!
Best wishes and Happy Gardening For “Everyone”
The Phoenix Garden Project