The goal of the Nursery program has always been, first and foremost, to develop and advance successful individuals who can contribute to and build a community. The primary tool used to accomplish our mission is to provide inmates a well-rounded education in the wide field of horticulture practices. In addition to standard garden and greenhouse training, this program has a further intent- to promote conservation, advance scientific knowledge, build an atmosphere of teamwork and mutual respect among individuals, and prepare inmates to be ambassadors for the horticulture discipline when released from prison.
We strive to build connections and partnerships within the broader community and share what we are doing and learning. Our inmates earn a 6500 hour nationally recognized horticulture apprenticeship and are prepared to be good stewards of our natural and cultural resources. The green initiatives that we have implemented here at the prison make us more sustainable and reduce our ecological impact, but also help provide real rehabilitative outcomes for individuals who participate. One can’t help but see the social and environmental benefits that occur when individuals engage with and embrace the living world around them. This is true nature based therapy.
It has been gratifying for all involved to see the program at the Nursery mature and expand as more and more inmates are given the privilege of participating. As we grow, they grow, and our whole community is a stronger place. We look forward to participating further with partners in the field and becoming a valued member of the horticulture community. And along the way, we continue our mission of facilitating the building process of individual people into all that they can be.