Insight Garden Program

Insight Garden Program

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Insight Garden Program provides vocational gardening and landscaping training so that people in prison can reconnect to self, community, and the natural world. This “inner” and “outer” gardening approach transforms lives, ends ongoing cycles of incarceration, and creates safer communities. Their “inner gardener” classes integrate transformational tools such as meditation, emotional process work and ecotherapy. In flower and vegetable gardens, people practice “outer gardening,” where their diverse class participants also learn the basics of organic gardening, human/ecological systems and useful work and life skills. The act of caring for plants includes the qualities of responsibility, empathy and discipline that also transfer to the interpersonal realm. By growing plants, people also grow. The act of nurturing nature can strike a “deeply personal chord” with the grower. Interaction with nature is important for effective mental functioning, such as learning new information, performing complex tasks, or problem-solving. Time outside offers a sense of balance and pride, can increase attention spans, foster creativity and lead to a renewed sense of community re-engagement for incarcerated people.

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