April 24, 2015 - Veterans at the Jonathan M. Wainwright VA Medical Center in Walla Walla, Washington, celebrated Earth Day by planting broccoli and cabbage in the medical center’s Healing Ground garden. Located on a hill next to the VA’s historic chapel overlooking a field where early morning sightings of deer are common, The Healing Ground is tended by Veterans for the fourth consecutive year.
The idea to start back up a garden after years of dormancy came from a brainstorming session between the chief of Home and Community Based Services and her administrative officer while considering new ways to introduce the Complementary and Alternative Medicine program started in 2011. The 2,725 sq. ft. plot of fertile soil was a natural place to plant, and staff members worked with community partners to get the project started.
Walla Walla Community College students helped to construct a fence. An AmeriCorps volunteer with gardening experience assisted in getting the project off the ground. Over time, Veterans started attending daily morning gardening classes, seeking the sunshine and the peaceful environment as a place to heal from their physical and emotional pain, thus aptly named The Healing Ground. read more>>>