Skip to content
Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities Home

Gardening With Purpose: How SCHC’s LEPP Garden Project Improves Residents’ Environmental & Physical Health

October 18, 2021

Written by Ayzha MacLean, Community Outreach Coordinator
& Tagan Mani, Marketing & Fund Development Coordinator

On Wednesday, October 13, 2021 SCHC hosted an event to celebrate receiving three different grants from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. At this event (click here to watch the recap video) stories were shared about how these grants provided significant assistance to SCHC and the impact it has had on the community. One of the grants, was for SCHC’s Lawrence East Partnership Program (LEPP) and we played this video above to our guests which shares the story of how one resident took lead in creating a beautiful garden that provides an improvement of the residents’ environmental and mental health. After watching the video above, see below for pictures and more from Janice. 

Janice Brown has been a resident of 4205 Lawrence Ave East for the last 5 years and is a member of the SCHC’s LEPP program. She has assisted with different projects and services at the building, including helping with the food bank. In May 2021 she became involved with the Garden project, which was a great way to to apply her skills and passion for gardening. 

When interviewing Janice, she mentioned how grateful she is for this opportunity since she uses gardening as therapeutic exercise! The garden helps to stimulate her mind and allows her to explore outside her comfort zone while still having her mind focused.  As stated in the video she says “It is an extension to preserve with my life and makes my soul happy”. 

There is no doubt that the garden makes Janice happy as she proudly shows off the pictures she has taken of what has come out of her garden from pumpkins to tomatoes, and so much more! She has received so many compliments on the garden and how her hard work has brought the garden back to life. It also provided her a connection to other residents and staff. She loves working with SCHC staff as they have supported her throughout these years and work with her to achieve the goals she sets. It means a lot to her because she recognizes the genuine care and support SCHC staff have provided her. 

She learned about the opportunity to become a resident leader and now is part of the Resident Engagement Advisory Committee (REAC). Through this garden and being part of the REAC team, she feels like she has something to do with purpose as she engages with other residents to discover needs and express her opinions to see how the community can become better and more environmentally friendly!

I learned about an opportunity for resident leaders and now I am a part of the Resident Engagement Advisory Committee. This opportunity gives me the chance to help engage my fellow residents to see what some of our community needs are and can be of help with hands on activities and help to plan and voice my opinion to make our community better – environmentally friendly! 

To learn more about LEPP and how to support, visit the LEPP page here!