11 young adults with disabilities (ages 18-29) have attended a wonderful gardening program at the Wilmot Gardens, located on the University of Florida (UF) campus since October 2017. It was anticipated that the tuition for this wonderful group of young adults for Fall 2017 & Spring 2018 would be financed by a State funding source, which provides allocations for educational programs and job-sites that provide training and employment opportunities for adults with disabilities.
Unfortunately, these young people may have to abruptly discontinue attending due to fact that the State funding source will not be available for several months. The Wilmot Gardens program has provided such a wonderful experience for young adults with disabilities. During this program, the students were exposed to industry standard horticulture methods. The students have learned countless skills such as choosing the correct soil for different plant applications, determining the most suitable conditions for varying plants, how to plant seeds, how to maintain plants, transplanting, how to identify different species of plants, and how to work as a team. The list goes on. This horticultural program at Wilmot Gardens has also been extremely therapeutic for the adults with disabilities. Whether in the green house or out in the beautiful garden, students have become more cooperative and have improved with regards to social behavior. Morevoer, their work ethic has skyrocketed! Since this program also incorporates vocational & career training, the students are definitely being prepared to contribute to our local economy as working citizens of our community in the future. Finally, this program has definitely increased the quality of life for young adults with disabilities! Please help our young adults with disabilities continue their gardening experience at Wilmot Gardens on UF Campus! Thank you!