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Garden a Welcome Project for Residents with Disabilities

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Each Earth Day, residents and staff get together to improve the grounds at The Warwick Apartments in Newport News, Va. This year was no exception as the two parties came together to clean, plant flowers, and put down new mulch. The Residents then determined who would maintain the new garden by rotating the responsibility of watering and removing trash and debris. The group was rewarded for its hard work with an afternoon of good conversation and refreshments from the grill.

The event was especially rewarding for two disabled residents who were able to get out and have some fun in the dirt, an activity that they said they would normally shy away from due to their disabilities.

Rebecca, one of the participating residents, remarked, “Since I lost my leg nearly two years ago I never thought I could still do some of the same things I love and have missed out on doing with one leg. Today was so much fun. Being able to get down and dirty in flowerbeds reminded me that everything is still possible no matter what your disability is or the challenge we face in everyday living. The cookout was nice too. The food was great. But to be honest, the best part for me was actually being able to do something I thought I couldn't do anymore. I wanted to tell you face to face but I was afraid I'd choke on my words and I don't allow others to see me cry. Thank you to the resident services staff…you made today worth facing!”

According to resident services coordinator Steve Kersey, “We here at the Warwick were excited we were able to accommodate the residents with disabilities and help preserve the beauty of our historic property.”