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Granted to grow

Great Lakes Recovery Centers receives raised flower beds

Through a grant received from the Community Foundation of Marquette County, Great Lakes Recovery Centers was able to build two raised flower beds, pictured here, at its Adult Residential Services facility in Marquette. Residents will plant and tend to the vegetables to be planted in the beds. The beds were built by Ray Bush of GLRC. (Journal photo by Trinity Carey)

By TRINITY CAREY

Journal Staff Writer

MARQUETTE — With a grant from the Community Foundation of Marquette County, Great Lakes Recovery Centers was able to build two raised flower beds at its Adult Residential Services facility in Marquette.

The beds will allow for residents to plant, grow and collect fresh vegetables right outside their door. The benefit of the beds to the residents is two-fold, said Mike Fittante, assistant director of GLRC Adult Residential Services.

“First of all, you save on food cost. (The) rise is so costly, especially healthy foods; this is going to allow us to produce healthy vegetables and things like that so we’ll pay a fraction of the cost. That’s a benefit on the financial end for GLRC,” Fittante said. “It’s also a benefit to the clients for healthy eating so they can have better choices of food here at Great Lakes.”

The facility plans to plant basic veggies like cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes and lettuce in the beds to be used in resident meals.

“We have a designated staff person to manage that and the residents, in between their group sessions and what have you, have the ability to plant and help out with this,” Fittante said.

The gardening provides another form of therapy for residents of the facility, he said. They also offer other adjunct services such as acupuncture, yoga, YMCA days and neuro training to help relieve stress and anxiety.

“What it does is, it gives people in treatment another alternative other than a 12-step program or the big book or things like that; it gives them other alternatives to treatment so it’s not just the same old-school mentality,” Fittante said.

Providing other forms of therapy to the residents helps ease them through the challenging process of recovery, he said.

“It just makes them, mind, body and soul, a much healthier person all the way around,” Fittante said.

The raised beds were built by Ray Bush, GLRC IT assistant, and member of Ishpeming-based Partridge Creek Farm.

Dan Perkins, director of Partridge Creek Farm, runs a program with Great Lakes Recovery Centers Youth Services in Ishpeming that’s focused on gardening and farming and is working with Bush to develop a similar program for the Adult Residential Services facility.

While the program is still in its beginning phases, Perkins noted that the existing program has been beneficial to the youth in recovery and he believes it will be just as effective with adults.

“This program serves really well for people in recovery,” Perkins said. “It’s very intensive work that they do. To get them outside and doing something with their hands as a group and doing something productive and restorative, working with plants and together gives them a whole variety of restorative things. They realize they are working on a project where they’re needed and useful, working collaboratively as part of a team and developing skills.”

Trinity Carey can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. Her email address is tcarey@miningjournal.net.