GreenThumbs, Healthy Joints

Funded Projects - 2009

The Green Thumbs, Healthy Joints program funded 21 projects statewide in 2009.  Participant groups ranged from ResCare to Master Gardener programs.  Each group received funding to make gardening more accessible for seniors either by implementing new gardening tools or new accessible gardening space.

Master Gardeners

Braxton County Master Gardeners

The Braxton County Master Gardeners used their grant money to finish up a phased plan at the Braxton County Senior Center.  The Braxton County Master Gardeners have helped to create The Senior Gardens of Braxton County at the senior center.  This year the gardeners added more raised garden beds and plants to the existing raised beds.

Gilmer County Master Gardeners

The Gilmer County Master Gardeners worked on a project at SunBridge Care and Rehabilitation.  SunBridge Care and Rehabilitation houses 65 patients who suffer from a variety of disabilities and most are confined to wheelchairs.  There is a large concrete patio gathering area that houses two gardening beds; however, they are inaccessible. The Gilmer County Master Gardeners constructed two raised beds in the place of the existing inaccessible beds.

Morgan County Master Gardeners

The Morgan County Master Gardeners used their grant money to implement rolling raised beds into the lives of the senior citizens at The Morgan County Senior Center.  The raised beds are beneficial to those senior center members who are in wheelchairs, and the rolling aspect of the raised garden beds allowed members to garden indoors or outdoors.

Harrison County Master Gardeners (2 projects funded at different sites)

The Harrison County Master Gardeners put grant money to use by improving the grounds at Susan Dew Hoff Memorial Clinic, Inc.  The Master Gardeners incorporated safety hand rails and benches to an existing walking trail to make it more accessible to elderly patients.  The gardeners also added plants and flowers along the trail to make the trail more enticing to the patients at the clinic.  The Master Gardeners also stayed active by maintaining the gardening area throughout the growing season.

The Harrison County Master Gardeners also worked on a second project with the West Milford Citizens Action Committee at the West Milford Community Building.  The gardeners used their grant money to construct an accessible walkway that will lead to a new raised garden bed.  The West Milford Community Center has become an active site for social, medical, and sports activities, so the raised garden bed will benefit many different groups.

Ohio County Master Gardeners

The Ohio County Master Gardeners worked on an ongoing project at Peterson Rehabilitation Hospital.  This year the gardeners focused on constructing an accessible pergola on the grounds of the hospital to be used as an outdoor classroom.

Preston County Master Gardeners (2 projects funded at different sites)

The Preston County Master Gardeners participated in two projects over the course of the year.  The Master Gardeners started a garden project at Arthurdale Heritage, Inc., and also at Deckers Creek in Sabraton.

At the Arthurdale Heritage the PCMGs focused on incorporating lower acreage into the center hall area.  The phased plan calls for a wildlife designed area, accessible pathways and several gardens.  The new center hall area will be used by nearby runners and bicyclists of the Rails to Trails in Reedsville, the Master Gardeners, a Girl Scout troop, and al visitors who come to visit the New Deal Homestead Museum and Historic Center Hall.

The PCMGs second project is at Deckers Creek and it is a part of The Friends of Deckers Creek master plan for the Sabraton Greenspace.  The greenspace is a stopping point along the rail trail, and it is also located close to the BOPARC senior center. The Master Gardeners incorporated raised garden beds into a large portion of the greenspace.  Mailboxes that are located at various points on the trail are also being used to distribute educational information about ergonomic tools, raised beds, gardening, and several other topics.  The Master Gardeners will continue to host volunteer planting days to provide outreach on ergonomic tools and/or assistive gardening devices.

Putnam County Master Gardeners

The Putnam County Master Gardeners created a garden space at the Teays Valley Presbyterian Church.  The church is located next to an assisted living facility, Teays Valley Manor, which houses 41 residents.  The assisted living facility has no room to house their own raised garden beds, and there is a wheelchair accessible path to the garden site from the assisted living facility.  The gardeners constructed 6 accessible raised beds where vegetables were harvested for use in the kitchen at Teays Valley Manor.

West Central Master Gardeners Association (WC-MGA)

The West Central Master Gardeners used their grant money to make The Community Garden at the Roane County Committee on Aging more accessible to persons in wheelchairs.  The bed was raised to 18' and to decrease the maximum reach, around the bed, to no more than 24' from any edge.  A storage cabinet was also added to the site so that ergonomic tools that are received are accessible to all gardeners.

Other Gardening Groups

Cabell County Community Services Organization, Inc.

The Cabell County Services Organization, Inc. (CCCSO) operates an Adult Day Care for approximately 10 patients.  The CCCSO constructed wheelchair accessible raised garden beds to add to an existing small enclosed courtyard.  In addition, ergonomic hand tools allowed several of the patients who have physical limitations to continue gardening and remain active.

Clarksburg-Harrison Regional Housing Authority

The Clarksburg-Harrison Regional Housing Authority worked on projects in three different locations.  At the Laurel Lanes Apartments a raised garden bed was added to an area that currently houses a rock garden.  At the other sites, Mason House Apartments and the Koupal Towers Apartments raised garden beds were constructed so that the residents with limited mobility can continue to garden.

The Disability Action Center (Marion County)

The Disability Action Center was presented with three raised garden beds and several different vegetable plants. The raised beds were incorporated into the centers community project and Lunch & Learn program.  Each bed houses different vegetables that are used to teach clients nutrition, economic benefit, and community involvement through teamwork.

Department of Veterans Affairs/VAMC Martinsburg

The Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Division of Recreation Therapy was given raised garden beds to place in the outside recreation therapy area of the Community Living Center.

Edgewood Village Apartments

The Edgewood Village apartments in Nicholas County, West Virginia, used their grant money to add raised garden beds to their facility.  The residents of the apartments will now be able to use these accessible gardens as a form of exercise and recreation.

Elk Riverview Terrace Apartments

The Elk Riverview Terrace apartments in Webster County, West Virginia, used their grant money to add raised garden beds to their facility.  The apartment complex also incorporated container gardening to the facility to provide an additional outlet for accessible gardening.

Marion Unity Apartments

The activities director at Marion Unity apartments completed a gardening project for the residents who live there.  Five raised garden beds were constructed at the Marion Unity Apartments.  The accessible garden beds provided tenants the option to participate in recreational and physical fitness activities.

Mayor's Gardening Initiative, Mt. Hope, West Virginia

The Mayor's Gardening Initiative worked to expand the existing garden at the Mt. Hope Community Center.  In addition, the Mt. Hope Gardening Initiative built five new 8'x 4' raised garden beds for 5 Mt. Hope community members.  The recipients of the accessible garden beds were community members in Mt. Hope who are unable to find transportation to the Community Center garden at the Mt. Hope Community Center.

ResCare Blue Jay Day Program

Members of the ResCare team in Beaver, West Virginia used their grant money to construct accessible walkways and raised planting beds on the grounds of the day program.  The accessible walkways and wheelchair accessible garden beds allow participants in the day program to continue to get physical exercise and stimulation.

ResCare, Inc. Summersville

Members of the ResCare team in Summersville, West Virginia were constructed accessible gardening beds to benefit those patients who live in this group home setting.  The accessible beds allowed those patients in wheelchairs to help plant and maintain the beds.

Scott's Run Settlement House

The Scott's Run Settlement House has a program called Seniors on the Run.  Through this program seniors are able to participate in gardening programs; however, previously seniors could only garden in mobile containers that could be carried in to their rooms.  Scott's Run Settlement House used their grant money so that seniors could access a raised garden bed on the grounds at Scott's Run Settlement House that is wheelchair and walker accessible.