Smell, taste, sound, touch, sight... we incorporate all five senses into the garden so it's interactive for everybody.
Megan Dassow, a third-semester Occupational Therapy Assistant student at Bryant and Stratton College, loves her field of study.
And with such a hands-on and interactive career path, on a beautiful afternoon with her hands in a pair of gardening gloves and ready to work, today excites her even more for her future,
“We’re at a place called Wil-O-Way, it’s part of [South Milwaukee’s] Grant Park,” she says. “We’re helping adults with disabilities outside in the gardens of Wil-O-Way, interacting with the participants and engaging them in the garden.”
And alongside participants from Adult Day Services, which provides therapeutic care for adults with disabilities, Megan and her classmates are bringing something unique to South Milwaukee: they’re transforming an old run-down garden into an interactive sensory garden.
“A sensory garden has all five senses… smell, taste, noise.. we incorporate all five senses into the garden so it’s interactive for everybody.”
The garden is expected to be finished in about a year. It will stimulate all five senses, created to provide unique sensory opportunities — making it enjoyable for those with a disability and those without.
Gardening is such a therapeutic tool for individuals with all kinds of abilities... we really want this garden to be accessible for all.
Deb McKernan-Ace, program director of the Occupational Therapy Assistant program at Bryant and Stratton College, also shares her excitement for the garden.
“The term ‘occupational’ in [Occupational Therapy] means everything that people do from the time they wake up in the morning to the time they go to bed at night,” she says. “Gardening is such a therapeutic tool for individuals with all kinds of abilities. I like to say abilities instead of disabilities because we want this garden to be accessible by all individuals.”
Want to learn more about this sensory garden? Check out my full interview with Megan and Deb by clicking the podcast player above.
For more on Bryant and Stratton’s Occupational Therapy Assistant Program: www.bryantstratton.edu