A grant from the city of Columbus and the Columbus Foundation is serving as the seed money for a garden project at Goodwill Columbus' headquarters on Edgehill Road.
Goodwill will use the grant of more than $3,200 to convert a gravel-filled pit into the Sprouting Goodwill Garden. The garden will be located between two buildings accessible from Edgehill and from a sidewalk between Third and Fifth avenues in the Grandview area.
Twenty-three on-site residents who live in Goodwill's intermediate-care facility will work with staff members and volunteers from Grace Central Presbyterian Church to create and maintain the garden.
The residents have been diagnosed with developmental disabilities.
Volunteers began work on the garden project May 25.
"The garden will include scented plants, more than 40 kinds of fruits and vegetables, as well as wind chimes and birdhouses and feeders created by our residents out of recycled materials," said Tiffany Martin, director of Goodwill's on-site residence program.
The produce will be included in the meals served to the residents, she said.
"We started an initiative a while back with a goal of having a menu that is 95 percent unprocessed food," Martin said. "This is a great way to help us reach that goal."
"I think it will give our residents a great deal of satisfaction knowing they're helping to supply the food they eat," said Barry Drummond, lead direct care specialist of the on-site residence program.
Drummond said he has wanted to create a garden at Goodwill for some time.
"I wanted to give our residents more opportunity to spend time outdoors being active," he said. "I think it's going to help their physical well-being and just make them feel happier in general."
A master's student from Ohio State University will conduct a study to measure the positive impact the garden project has on the intermediate-care residents, Drummond said.
"Being located in an urban residential setting, it's a little difficult to find a residential green area," Martin said. "We're so grateful this grant will allow us to create this wonderful garden space and beautify what's been an ugly empty space."
The on-site residence program at Goodwill serves adults with developmental disabilities and is staffed by nurses 24 hours a day. The program offers residents organized activities on-site and in the community as well as therapy and classes on various topics.