Donors Impact 

stepped stones
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three persons at raised bed
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hand painted camping rock
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turtle and tulips color the box
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entrance arch to garden
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hyacinth in full bloom
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smiley rainbow painted rock
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two women raking the garden beds
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Long-dormant Sensory Garden comes back to life

Planting seeds of new experiences

A long-dormant project is coming back to life, literally, as staff and participants reclaim the Sensory Garden at the Center.

Jason Lanzillo, Youth Program Director, has taken the lead in clearing out debris from years past and getting herbs and flowering plants and shrubs planted again.

The Ocean House provided a $1,000 grant toward the project, which included funds to purchase herbs. Chef James also spent time in the garden helping participants plant basil, lemon balm, mint and sage.

Jason was pleased to learn that a lavender plant from the previous iteration of the garden managed to survive despite a complete lack of attention. 

“I call it the grandmother of the garden because she has been there for eight years,” Jason said.

Once completed, the garden will include a music therapy area with the help of a grant from Dime Bank and music therapy services provided by Hands in Harmony, a non-profit organization based in North Kingstown.

Center participants and staff have been painting “worry rocks” that will decorate the garden and add another element for sensory experience.

A $2,000 grant from the Billy Andrade-Brad Faxon Charities for Children Foundation is providing art supplies for a variety of projects, and some of the materials are being used for the garden rocks. Jason also sent materials to participants’ homes so more individuals can take part in the effort.

Eagle Scout candidate Sam Rizzo of Westerly has done much of the cleanup and will add more raised beds to make the plantings accessible for all participants.