MS/BCMG Enabling Garden
Enabling Garden Tour
The Enabling garden was the idea of Jennifer Northrop as she wanted people to have an adaptive garden so they could continue gardening despite a disability such as her Multiple Sclerosis. The Enabling garden is designed with handicapped-accessible entrances and pathways, planting boxes of 5 various heights, adaptive tools, and an easy access tool shed. There are free standing beds which have ease of access on all sides, beds with benches on one side so a person may sit or kneel, and an A-frame bed with a trellis to allow a wheelchair to grow and pick plants from vines such as tomatoes, grapes, melons, or squash. All the beds have PVC pipe running from the bottom vertically to the top for an automatic watering system.
The Enabling garden became possible through $7,000 grant from the Lone Star Chapter’s Multiple Sclerosis Entrepreneurs Program presented by Kanaly Trust. The Master Gardeners provided the inter-structure with the help of Texas A & M Holistic Gardens. Billy Heck was in charge of building the frames. Later after more funds became available, $1,000 from another M.S., a grant of 6,550 from Kroger, and $1,011 from the Master Gardeners, Jim Hillis became the project manager with the help of many Master Gardener volunteers. In 2016, Jim Verboon and Frank Curl obtained the Dow Chemical grant of $9,800 which helped to completed the garden.
Various facilities have been contacted to encourage the use of the gardens: M.S. Houston chapter, V.A clinic, assistive living facilities e.g. Country Village and Elmcroft and the Brazoria County Center For Independent Living. The Enabling Garden will be used in an ongoing effort to maintain an active life style for people with disabilities with the Master Garden volunteers offering to teach gardening skills or mentor as needed.