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Horticultural Therapy 

During the summer months, the horticulture therapy program includes outdoor activities, such as field trips to Discovery Garden.


Skills Horticultural Therapy Program

The Discovery Garden plays a key role in the horticultural therapy programming offered by Skills of Central PA. Skills supports people throughout central Pennsylvania who live with intellectual and developmental disabilities as well as those recovering from mental health challenges. The people who participate in Skills programs visit the Discovery Garden regularly to explore their interests in plants and gardening, spend meaningful time outdoors, interact with other people in the community, and ultimately have sense of accomplishment and belonging.


Skills program participants visit the Discovery Garden often and volunteer their time to:

  • Till the soil in the Horticultural Therapy Garden beds in the spring

  • Plant a variety of seeds and plants

  • Tend to the flowers and vegetables as they grow by watering, weeding, deadheading, and harvesting

  • Help with leaf clean up in the spring and fall

  • Help with watering other areas of the garden as needed



Skills program participants, supported by staff, are also extensively involved in the annual Discovery Garden Spring Plant Sale. They help out the day of the sale and also help prepare for it as they:

  • Plan which seeds will be planted to grow plants for the sale and determine when the planting needs to happen

  • Purchase the seeds, potting soil, and seed trays/pods needed to grow their plants

  • Plant and label the seeds

  • Tend to the seedlings for 6-8 weeks, which includes watering as needed, monitoring the lighting, temperature, and air flow, rotating seed trays daily, and re-potting as seedlings get larger

  • Plan which craft items to make and sell at the event…in the past they've made birdfeeders, garden stakes, bee houses, succulent and herb gardens, citronella candles, and wreaths for resale

  • Purchase needed materials and help make the crafts

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