A new horticultural therapy program is being introduced to Her Majesty’s Penitentiary—and it’s already yielding results.
The Phoenix Garden Project is a partnership of locally-owned Sun Valley Greenhouses, the John Howard Society, prison officials, and the Research Exchange Group on Horticultural Therapy.
The idea is to install a 20×8 cedar greenhouse on the grounds of HMP to benefit inmates.
Jan Buley, a certified horticultural therapist, says they’ve already started working with inmates who are enthusiastic about the project. She says the project would not have been possible without the support of Sun Valley Greenhouses owned locally by Kim and Scott Wilson.
She says when the Wilsons were first approached, they jumped on board despite the fact that they have a backlog in demand for greenhouses thanks to COVID. They’re offering the training greenhouse for a significant discount as a result.
The benefits of horticultural therapy on inmates are proven in other jurisdictions, says Cindy Murphy of the John Howard Society, teaching inmates life skills they can take with them through life.
They’re hoping to have the greenhouse up and running at HMP by the end of June, and are looking for public support for the remaining cost of installation and equipment.
Thanks to @LindaSwainVOCM @VOCMNEWS @davidbuley @janbuley for hosting us today On Target to talk about the the Phoenix Gardening Project at Her Majesty’s Pen. For more information or to donate please visit https://t.co/e1MdkduQ1p or find us at Canada Helps! pic.twitter.com/wr2Oc84Olo
— John Howard Society of NL (@JohnHowardNL) May 3, 2021