Signs of Spring in Rhode Island Prison Gardens

Happy Spring! We are busy planning for the season, cleaning up garden beds, and hoping to plant spinach and arugula this week. As we begin our ninth year at the men’s maximum-security facility and our sixth year at the men’s medium-security facility at the Rhode Island Adult Correctional Institutions, we want to thank you for your continued support and share some good news…

Garden Time received two generous grants to support the Garden Time-To-Work program! Last year we laid the groundwork for adding a post-release component to the program by connecting to local apprenticeship programs and securing the RI DOC’s permission to support graduates as they transition to life beyond prison. HUGE THANKS to the Rhode Isand Foundation and the Burpee Foundation for making this program expansion possible. We look forward to seeing great things from our graduates (See below for one success story!)

In addition to funding, we are grateful for the in-kind donations that keep us growing! Our students were excited to see the variety and quantity of seeds donated from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, Lake Valley Seed, and Park Seed Company. Thanks to them for keeping our material costs low!

Watch Tre Maison Dasan streaming on the PBS website for the month of April!This award-winning documentary follows three boys whose parents are incarcerated in Rhode Island–and two of the parents featured are our gardeners! Tyree is in the Garden Time-To-Work program and Stephanie has graduated and gone on to great success. She and Dasan have been traveling to film festivals to discuss the movie, and she is working at the Nonviolence Institute, was selected as a New Leaders Council fellow, and wrote a children’s book to help children of incarcerated parents understand they are not alone. The Resilient Mr. Ball is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble online. We are so proud of Stephanie and her accomplishments!

Happy Spring and, as always, THANKS for your support!
Kate Lacouture, Co-founder & Executive Director, Garden Time, Inc.
Vera Bowen, Co-founder & Board President, Garden Time, Inc.