Dec. 16 2019 08:23 AM

The gardens will be therapeutic for the patients at a VA substance abuse rehab center.

Local green industry companies led by Phoenix’s Ewing Irrigation and Landscape Supply came together Dec. 7 on a project to give back to veterans: they installed a calming garden and new green spaces for patients at the Phoenix Veteran’s Administration Health Care System’s Substance Abuse Recovery and Rehabilitation Treatment Program.

With the intention of giving patients a serene place to congregate, volunteers from Ewing and its partners worked together to renovate the landscape at the VA facility for patients residing in SARRTP. They spent the morning constructing raised planter beds around the entrance and sides of the building, installing wall planters and creating an herb walk. Patients will be able to cultivate the gardens in the raised planter beds and wall planters.

“This functional garden is going to allow us to therapeutically treat those residing in SARRTP,” says Michelle May, a recreation therapist at the Phoenix VA. “Gardening has been proven to help with providing coping skills and healing to those who suffer from PTSD as well as substance use disorders by giving them a sense of purpose and responsibility. Gardening, especially for substance use disorders, helps reciprocate the concepts we are also wanting our veterans to see in themselves — that with time, care and attentiveness, positive growth and change can happen.”

As part of Ewing’s commitment to local sustainable solutions and community outreach, Ewing partnered with manufacturers Hunter Industries, Landscape Products, Corona Tools, Mirimichi Green, AquaSmart, Holganix, Pavestone and a Phoenix-area contractor, One Fix Sprinklers, on the project. Products used included a Hunter Industries solar-powered XC Hybrid Controller, drip valves, tubing and emitters, along with soil amendments and rumble stone.

“Each year, as a way to give back to the community, we select a project that has a special meaning to us as a company,” says Douglas York, Ewing’s president and CEO. “Ewing selected the VA Hospital as a way to honor our veterans. Knowing our work will help in the healing process for those who need it most makes it all worth it.”

The Phoenix VA Health Care System proudly serves veterans and their families in Arizona at their main facility in central Phoenix, as well as at nine outpatient VA clinics located in and around the Phoenix metropolitan area. The Phoenix VA utilizes proprietary healthcare delivery methods to ensure quick and easy service centered around patients’ needs.