Stillwater News Press

Local News

April 17, 2013

Mental health center, OSU class partners to create therapeutic garden

STILLWATER, Okla. — A partnership between a Stillwater mental health center and an Oklahoma State University professor and his class will culminate in a project with lasting effects.

Edwin Fair Community Mental Health Center has been working with OSU horticulture professor Lou Anella and two classes over two semesters to build a therapeutic garden at the center’s site.

Executive Director Gary Wilburn explained the process between the two entities.

“What we have done thus far is we have connected with a horticulture class at OSU and their class in the spring semester designed the elements of the garden for us,” he said. “We’re in the process of finalizing our plans and what it will consist of.”

In the fall, another horticulture class will help them build the garden as part of a class project, he said.

“One of the things that we’re concerned about is mental and physical wellness and we see it as a good blending of those two ideas into an activity that folks can get behind and enjoy,” Wilburn said.

Anella said it’s a great project for his students in which to take part.

“It’s great for my classes to have real world challenges and it’s great for the organization to get this work done for no money,” he said.

He said the class will attempt to use recycled materials to save money on the project. This may include using pallets as raised beds.

“We’re using the back portion of our parking lot, so it’s going to be 15 by 30 feet,” Wilburn said. “We’re looking to have raised beds for the vegetables and flowering plants. We also want to make it a tranquil, relaxed atmosphere, so we’ll also have a water fountain, as well.”

Edwin Fair is searching for more volunteers. The project is expected to be completed by Nov. 1.

For more information, call Edwin Fair at 405-372-1250.

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