The Marblehead Chamber of Commerce and its board of directors held a ribbon cutting to welcome the new horticultural therapy program at the Lafayette Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Facility. The ribbon cutting took place on Wednesday July 24 at 4 p.m.
The Lafayette is a 65-bed family-based facility that provides long-term and rehabilitative care with a combination of expert clinical skills and a caring, dedicated staff.
The new program, “Good To Grow,” was started by Lafayette Administrator George Barbuzzi. It was designed to create purposeful activities for residents at the facility.
“Good To Grow” is a creative and important program that is allowing residents to enjoy planting while interacting, learning and improving their cognitive and physical skills.
Barbuzzi wasn't alone in cultivating the new therapy program. Lisa Biggio, a Marblehead resident and certified horticultural therapist, was the brainchild behind the idea of “Good To Grow,” and when she brought the idea to Barbuzzi, he immediately embraced it.
“The 'Good To Grow' program is already seeing strong results,” Barbuzzi said in a recent statement. “We join a growing number of healthcare facilities that are embracing gardening as part of our treatment program. At the Lafayette, we are always looking for ways to enrich the lives of our residents, help them interact more and lead more meaningful fuller lives.”
Funding of the program was made possible through family donations and revenue raised through the annual AdventCare Golf Tournament. Biggio uses these financial resources as well as ingenuity to run 10 resident class sessions per week at all levels of interest and ability.
Visitors can view a small cold frame garden box with planted vegetable and flower seeds located at the front of the building, which was created by a group of men at Lafayette that participate in the program.
In addition, a newly designed garden patio is available for visitors to enjoy during the summer planting and harvest activities.