A new project with Green Path Veterans Farms was launched this past Veteran’s Day at Selby Gardens.

Green Path provides outreach, education and training to veterans wishing to experience the agricultural industry in their own community. Selby Gardens will help the veterans through the development, installation and upkeep of an on-site edible garden.

A group of veterans, along with students from Easterseals’ VIP Academy, broke ground on a new permaculture edible garden in the Ann Goldstein Children’s Rainforest Garden. To hone their agricultural skills, veterans from Green Path will build a closed-loop design that will maximize resources. Each plant in the garden will serve one or more purposes, such as food sources, soil-builders, insect-attractors, shade providers, and habitat coverings.

“Selby Gardens is grateful for the partnership with Green Path where we can support and assist our veterans,” explains Jennifer Rominiecki, president and CEO of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. “Through the growing and cultivation of our new edible garden we can help our veterans feel more connected with their community, nature and our gardens.”

Selby Gardens will welcome the Green Path veterans regularly to change out plants seasonally, while VIP Academy students will visit the Gardens weekly to perform maintenance and upkeep of the new display. The project will allow for educational experiences for Selby Gardens guests and serve as a creative outlet and hands-on learning opportunity for current and future veterans of Green Path, as well as VIP Academy students.

“The garden will not be the only thing blossoming through this project,” said Green Path Executive Director and Easterseals Farm Manager Camille Van Sant. “The veterans will ultimately enrich the Selby Gardens guest experience while reconnecting new and long-time veterans back to nature during the process.”

For more information, contact Lynn Bates at lbates@selby.org.

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