BERNARDS TWP., NJ – The Basking Ridge Garden Club, responsible for the design and maintenance of a garden that provides therapeutic benefits for older adults at the VNA of Somerset Hill's Adult Day Center, has received a First Place Award for therapy garden design and maintenance in a national competition.

The award from the National Garden Clubs, Inc., recognizes garden projects that allow people with disabilities and illnesses to utilize gardening as a form of therapy or treatment. 

The Adult Day Center's wandering garden provides therapeutic benefits by offering an opportunity for exercise, mental stimulation, social interaction, and stress reduction for the elderly adults who attend the Adult Day Center, operating by the Visiting Nurse Association of Somerset Hills at 200 Mount Airy Road.

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The Adult Day Center's garden activities also help bring an improved sense of purpose and well-being, according to the VNA. Many of those who attend the center have Alzheimer's and dementia.

Club members have maintained the garden and host programs

The Basking Ridge Garden Club has maintained the garden since 2007, including seasonal and year-round projects. In addition taking on responsibility for the beautiful variety of annuals, perennials, potted flowers, raised planting beds, and trees, club members host periodic interactive enrichment programs for the center members on topics such as flower arranging and plant care.

Pictured left to right are Basking Ridge Garden Club co-President, Barbara Burger of Liberty Corner; club co-chair of the wandering garden, Jane Bauer of Bernardsville; Adult Day Center manager, Maria Keenan; club co-President Barbara Barbeau of Basking Ridge; and club co-chair of the wandering garden, Cynthia Wynant, of Basking Ridge.

Second garden for which club receives national recognition

This is the second time this year that one of the club's local gardens has received national recognition. Earlier, the Basking Ridge Garden Club and its gardening work at a rock garden at the Environmental Education Center in Basking Ridge was recognized with a runner’s up award from the National Garden Clubs, Inc. in the category, “Civic Projects with Native Plants." 

Club aims to 'contribute to beautification of the community'

The purpose of the Basking Ridge Garden Club is to encourage the spirit of gardening, to preserve trees, birds, and wildflowers, to be environmentally aware, and to contribute to the beautification of the community, according to the garden club.

The Adult Day Center is a service provided by nonprofit home and community healthcare provider VNA of Somerset Hills. A social adult day program model, the center's goal is to offer a warm and supervised environment for older adults who can benefit from socialization and supervision.