Trumbull County commissioners and Trumbull County Board of Developmental Disabilities members were on hand for the recent dedication of the raised gardens at the Tony Tomaski Center / Fairhaven Workshop.
The Trumbull County commissioners had provided a $600 donation to the workshop for the wooden beds placed at the rear of the complex.
The commissioners donated money that was raised through dress down Fridays throughout the county, and TCBDD board members also personally donated money to fund the project.
Rick Mistovich, workshop director at Tony Tomaski Center / Fairhaven Workshop in Niles, and others venture near the garden outside the North Road location. A donation from the Trumbull County Commissioners made new raised gardens possible for the clients.
Larry Connelly, a board member, said the gardens are elevated, allowing individuals with mobility issues, such as a wheelchair or instability balance problem, to use them.
Students at the Trumbull Career and Technical Center constructed 12 elevated wooden garden beds for the workshop in Niles and Champion.
Judith Damore, habilitation coordinator at the center, said planting and watering of the garden is done each morning by the clients. The raised gardens, along with a larger garden on the grounds, were planted in May.
The garden includes zucchini, peppers, eggplant, squash, tomatoes and broccoli.
Rick Mistovich, workshop director, said clients in wheelchairs are able to use the elevated garden and feel a part of the effort of growing vegetables.
He said extra items go to the Warren Family Mission to give back to the community.
Mistovich said giving back to the community has helped the students at the Fairhaven workshop and school.
"Twelve wheelchair accessible gardens were built to ensure every program participant would be able to enjoy gardening. People who use wheelchairs, have trouble bending over, or have trouble getting up after bending, will be able to participate in gardening whereas with a traditional garden, they would not be able to,'' said Tracy Walters, administrative assistant TCBDD.
Damore said the program participants have enjoyed tending to their gardens, watching their plants grow, and are very proud of their blooming efforts.