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With Barb Ward - A personal story of how gardening can benefit mental health

"He loves to grow things, and he is very proud of what he does. Brian worked at the greenhouse and he loved it. He had a purpose; he felt good about himself and like he was contributing. He was so proud to be a part of something, accepted, and to be praised for the work that he did." 

~ Barbara Briggs Ward

Dave and I had the chance to sit down with Barb Ward recently, a well-loved local author and self-taught illustrator. Barb also has been a long-time advocate for mental health, sits on our Board of Directors, and has collaborated with Dave and S.T.E.P. by S.T.E.P., Inc. for many years. She has not only spent over twenty years fighting for programs, opportunities, and rights on a system levels, but also relates to the topic on a very personal level - as a mother.

In this week's podcast Barb shares her son Brian’s journey with Schizophrenia and discusses how the Garden and Greenhouse Project improved her son's quality of life. Dave and Barb also discuss their history and how their collaboration led to the Garden and Greenhouse Project at S.T.E.P. by S.T.E.P., Inc. and the many years of advocating that it took to get there.

If you would like to check out some of Barb’s work you can find her at . Barb and her son, Brian, also recently visited our greenhouse as we are getting it up and running this year.

We still have our FREE flower and vegetable seed giveaway going on, so if you are ready to get outside and get your hands in the dirt then we have plenty of seeds left to help you get started.

It is first come, first serve, but I will do my best to fill your order, so send a message to Carrie at if you are interested.

Happy Planting!

Carrie Woodcock

Director of Wellness and Recovery Services

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