UT Gardens Launches a Therapeutic Horticulture Summer Program for Teens

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Sow to Grow Experience Is Designed for Teens with Disabilities

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee Gardens is hosting “Sow to Grow,” a three-week vocational summer program for youth with disabilities. Parents of teens ages 13 through high school are encouraged to register their child to attend from June 3 through June 24, 2024.

The Sow to Grow program will be a fun, socially engaging summer program that involves a variety of fun gardening activities for teens with disabilities. The sessions will be presented in a safe and welcoming environment.

Through this work-ready skills program participants will learn independent decision-making as well as how to work together as a team. Using plant-based activities, participants will additionally learn a variety of skills including employment skills, stress management techniques using nature interventions and appropriate social skills for the workplace.

“We are excited to be able to launch this program after conducting a needs assessment and piloting the program over the past year,” says Derrick Stowell, UT Gardens education and horticultural therapy program administrator. Stowell has been working with youth in the Knoxville area since 2006 and has developed numerous programs for the UT Gardens including horticultural therapy​ programs. He is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS). In 2015 he became a registered Horticultural Therapist (HTR) through the American Horticultural Therapy Association. “This program will provide a unique summer experience for families who have children with disabilities,” he adds.

Half-day and full-day programs are available. The deadline for registration is April 20. More information, including cost, can be found online at tiny.utk.edu/sowtogrow.

The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture is comprised of the Herbert College of Agriculture, UT College of Veterinary Medicine, UT AgResearch and UT Extension. Through its land-grant mission of teaching, research and outreach, the Institute touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions. to Tennesseans and beyond. utia.tennessee.edu.

Media Contact

Derrick Stowell

UT Gardens, Knoxville