Planting Hope, Harvesting Recovery (Established in 2010)

The final conceptual plan on display.

The “summer” 2010 Professional Outreach Project has officially come to a close. We’ve presented to our Advisory Committee and the DHSS Garden Project Team Steering Committee, and incorporated their edits and advice. At the end, we’ve produced a full color layout plan plus supporting documents that detail the design process, stakeholder input, and recommendations for individual garden areas and elements.

Fellows with POP Advisory Committee

Posing with the POP Advisory Committee who provided invaluable assistance along the way: Program Director Robert Lyons, UD Landscape Design Professor Jules Bruck, DE Center for Horticulture Community Gardens Manager Ann Mattingly, and DHSS Garden Project Manager Faith Kuehn. (Longwood Gardens Domestic and International Studies Coordinator Brian Trader also joined us for the presentation, and jovially agreed to take this picture!)

The culmination of our POP experience was a unique opportunity to share our conceptual plan with stakeholders and supporters during the DHSS Therapy & Community Gardens Reception and Project Review, held on October 28 at the Department of Health and Social Services’ Holloway Campus. In addition to familiar faces that we’ve collaborated with along the way, we were also joined by the Rita Landgraf, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services; Ed Kee, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Agriculture; and Delaware’s First Lady, Carla Markell.

James Hearsum, Paula Swearingen, and Secretary Rita Landgraf

James chats with Horticulture Therapist Paula Swearingen of Barclay Friends and Secretary Rita Landgraf of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services.

The flyer for the event was emboldened with the phrase “Planting Hope, Harvesting Recover,” reflecting the vision for the new therapeutic and community garden.  The Fellows feel honored to have the opportunity to participate in the larger effort to develop the garden, working with a variety of public agencies and non-profit organizations who will take the garden to the next level.

Raakel Toppila and Ray Majewski

Raakel speaking to DHSS Garden Project Team member Ray Majewski, Therapy and Rehabilitation Services Director at the Delaware Psychiatric Center.

Faith Kuehn, the Plant Industries Administrator at the Delaware Department of Agriculture and manager for the project, has been a true inspiration and a pleasure to work with. Her enthusiasm for the project, organizational skills, and penchant for bringing people together has proffered an amazing experience for us, and has indeed planted hope—and the seeds—for a garden that will harvest recovery. Many thanks to her and all of the generous souls who gave their time, energy, and creativity to making our Professional Outreach Project a success.

Rebecca Pineo and Faith Kuehn

Faith and I took time to celebrate with some (virgin) strawberry daiquiris!

To download the conceptual plan and other written documentation, visit the Publications page of the LGP website at

The National Association for Mental Illness (NAMI) will be accepting donations on behalf of DHSS to make the garden a reality. To find out more, visit; indicate “Holloway Campus garden in the donation form.