Nourishing Neighbors, Community High School of Vermont & UVM Health Network-Home Health & Hospice


Read more below

Community High School of Vermont

Community High School of Vermont (CHSVT) assists adult students by maintaining campuses throughout the state to develop personalized learning plans and provide coordinated learning opportunities that address educational and criminogenic needs to strengthen skills in living, learning, and working.The school mission encompasses a dual purposes of offering an accredited high school education and providing risk reducing interventions within the Vermont Department of Corrections to decrease recidivism.

UVM Ext. Community Horticulture partners with CHSVT to offer the Master Gardener Course, Certificate of Home Horticulture program to Department of Corrections inmates across the state. This provides important workforce training for student's going on to work in the Green Industry (landscaping, gardening, nurseries) upon release. Several sites around the state also have gardens and greenhouses where students are able to receive additional hands-on training.


Nourishing Neighbors

Nourishing Neighbors is a collaboration of the UVM Extension Farm Worker Programs, and the UVM Extension Community Horticulture program. The goal of the program is to increase food acess for Latinx farm workers. The UVM Community Horticulture staff will work on increasing opportunities for kitchen garden education and mentoring for Latinx farm workers.

Other project goals include:

  • Ensuring children of non-English speaking parents have access to the information and supports needed to participate in programs available to food insecure & low income households such as the free and reduced lunch programs, WIC, SNAP, and EFNEP.
  • To identify and expand culturally familiar foods available through local food shelves and local grocery stores.
  • To increase access to fresh produce and dry goods by strengthening and expanding our volunteer network to offer home deliveries to food insecure households through coordination with local gleaning projects and food shelves. ​

UVM Health Network-Home Health & Hospice

UVM Health Network-Home Health & Hospice offers the Adult Day Program (ADP) in the greater Burlington area that provides a safe and supportive day program in a home-like setting for elders needing extra assistance or companionship, adults with physical disabilities, or persons with memory impairments.  Social and recreational activities are combined with medical and therapeutic services, and 70% of clients’ daily nutritional requirements are provided via healthy snacks and hot meals.

For over a decade, UVM Extension Master Gardeners (EMGs) have partnered with the Adult Day Program’s staff to provide a “Secret Garden” full of flowers, vegetables and herbs to be enjoyed by clients in a safely enclosed outdoor garden space. When not thwarted by a pandemic, the EMG team also provides monthly horticultural therapy sessions, led by certified Horticultural Therapist Donna Covais, a Lifetime EMG.

The Adult Day Program’s wonderful staff, led by Site Coordinator Donna LaFromboise-Perretta, teams up to help keep the gardens watered and harvested when the EMGs are not on-site.  Other community partners play key roles, too:  Gardener’s Supply Company has contributed plants, soil, equipment, and encouragement since the start of this EMG garden project.  In the past few years, Claussen’s Florist, Greenhouse & Perennial Farm has also made a difference by contributing plant starts and seeds.

The following article, “The Resurrection of a Secret Garden (pdf),” was published in the Northeast Horticultural Therapy Network’s September 2021 newsletter.  It shares the story of loss and then joyful renewal when the pandemic forced the closure of the gardens for over a year.