Team Indianapolis Unveils Wellness Garden to Public

By passmore on June 26, 2012 in AmeriCorps

After six months of beautification, Team Indianapolis welcomed the public to the Wellness Garden within Miss Mary’s Garden on June 12th.  Situated on the west side of Indianapolis, renovations to this garden were made possible through a collaboration with the Center of Wellness for Urban Women, Inc (CWUW), Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, and the Purdue Cooperative Extension.  Team Indianapolis has been working since the beginning of the year to make this artistic addition possible.

“Our original goal for the long-term project was to create a space for people living with and affected by HIV to express themselves.  With advances in medication and medical treatment, people with HIV are living long and healthy lives, so we decided to focus on the idea of life and holistic wellness rather than limiting our vision to a single disease.  It was amazing to see the response that we got from the community and the art projects that were submitted,” said Lisa Passmore, AmeriCorps team member.

The Wellness Area consists of a path made of bricks with inspiring messages for health and wellness painted by volunteers, clients of the nearby Damien Center, and neighbors.  A new Health Circle also adorns the yard, offering an artistic space for retreat, group activities, and exercise. Various art projects and contributions are placed throughout the yard to attract and accommodate wildlife and visitors.  All the beautification projects were completed with supporter donations and through a special grant from the Office of Faith-Based Community Initiative.  With the help of community members and students from Butler University, the majority of these works were installed as part of National Volunteer Week in mid-April.

“The addition of the Wellness Area makes this garden more than just a place to grow vegetables. It will also be a hub for education about sustainable gardening, community beautification, and garden and art therapy,” said Rhonda Bayless, executive director of the CWUW and one of the community speakers at the garden’s opening event.

The garden, on the donated former home of Miss Mary Kinchlow, was built by the CWUW in 2010 as an educational resource for the west side neighborhood. The garden is heavily focused on the seven dimensions of wellness, as originally described by Dr. Hettler of the National Wellness Institute.  Team Indianapolis was proud to be a part of this community effort and create a natural wellness space for all to enjoy for many years to come.

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