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The children and youth served by the Ottawa Children's Treatment Centre shared the fruits and vegetables of their labour at the first "Children Play Garden" Party.

Cornwall –September 26, 2014- The children have spent the past four months planting, weeding, watering and caring for their new garden. Today, they celebrated the harvest by picking and sharing the vegetables they had grown.


"I don't think there is anything more rewarding than to see a young child, who's a picky eater, with a smile as big as the cucumber he is holding, talking about how he can't wait to get home to eat his vegetables," said Josée Seguin, Clinical Coordinator of the Cornwall Program.

The children are all part of the local children's rehabilitation centre that provides speech language, occupational and physiotherapy to children with a developmental and/or physical disability. The children at the Centre may have cerebral palsy, autism or any number of chronic disabilities that would traditionally limit their ability to get into the garden to play.

But with the support of the local community, funds and resources were donated to build the raised garden, which has ramps for wheel chair access and walls the perfect height for little gardeners.

One client benefiting from this program has noticed its positive effects. Before the program, the child always struggled with sensory issues and was reluctant to touch anything with a rough or dirty texture. But now, we notice that he is in the garden, digging and holding the vegetables and really overcoming the fears that prevented him from playing like other children his age.

Having the Garden on-site provides a wonderful tool to the care providers who have involved children in the gardening process from the beginning – teaching them about how plants grown and where their food comes from. Together, they have been working on therapy skills, like watering plants to develop hand-eye coordination, or holding on to the plants to enhance their sensory skills. And, the harvested vegetables have been going home each week with participants, providing healthy additions to their dinner plates.

"This is a great program that allows all of us to participate in our children's education while improving everyone's awareness of our food's origin" said Jim McDonell, MPP for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry. "The Ottawa Children's Treatment Centre and other service providers continue to improve and innovate in their service delivery to ensure all children in Ontario have a chance to overcome their challenges and succeed. Many things that we take for granted can provide a great learning and developmental opportunity for children."

For more information, please contact:

Anne Huot
Director of Client Programs & Information
Ottawa Children's Treatment Centre
2211 Thurston Drive
(613) 688-2126 x 4344

Additional Information

Media Advisory 2020-09-26 OCTC Cornwall Raised Garden Inauguration-En
188 KB (PDF)