19 May 2011

Gardening helps develop skills

When Pat Pack, director of the Kelly B. Todd Center, heard that a raised garden bed was available she and her administrative assistant Nana Snow, jumped on the offer.
The donor is the Fayetteville, Arkansas company, Greenland Gardener (www.greenlandgardener.com). Greenland Gardener is a manufacturer of raised bed garden kits, composite decking and Smart Stone stepping stones. All of their products are made from recycled materials such as wood chips and plastic.


The owner of Greenland Gardener, Burt Hanna, has donated several double bed kits to non-profit organizations in order to get feedback on their ease of use.

Nana Snow said that she assembled the raised bed herself and that everything went together easily without tools. She said her only advice is to be sure to set up the bed where you want it since it would not be easy to move.

For their use at Kelly B. Todd, Snow put the raised bed on top of two layers of cinder blocks, making the bed easier to reach.

Pat Pack, physical therapist and center director said that the bed was a good addition to their on-going back yard improvement projects.

“The City of Muskogee Foundation provided funds to put in sidewalks and playground equipment,” Pack said. “The Kirschner Foundation paid for the gazebo in the back as well as six benches that will be put in place next week.”

Volunteers from The National Association of Women in Construction (www.nawic.org) will be at the Center on May 19, to pour the concrete and put the benches in place.

Jim Eby contributed some of the ground work in the back yard playground area, but next, Pack needs a landscape planner to help make the area more useable. Right now, the swing set legs are under water much of the year and other parts of the ground hold enough water to breed mosquitoes.

The Civitan Club helps at the Center, too. Most recently they donated money for landscape plants.

“We need someone to help us figure out where we can have grassy play areas and how the irrigation system should be configured,” said Pack. “We are making good progress and the outdoor recreation area is ready for the next step.”

The Kelly B. Todd Cerebral Palsy and Neuro-muscular Center (www.kbtoddcpcenter.org) provides movement and interaction opportunities to children and adults with motor deficits or developmental delay. Their goal is to help their clients gain independence skills and to have a chance to interact with their environment.


The services are paid for through insurance, grants, civic organizations and corporations, as well as individual donations. They rely on volunteers to help put on events to raise awareness and bring in money for programs.

Their upcoming fund raiser is a golf tournament on May 23 at Muskogee Country Club.

Pack said, “The tournament has become something that golfers look forward to every year. There is still room for more teams and individuals to participate. All they have to do is call us to sign up.”

In September, Kelly B. Todd Center will hold their annual walk at Civitan Park.

“We will have free games, food and activities for individuals and families of all abilities,” said Pack. “Usually 150 or more people join in the fun.”

For step-by-step tips on gardening with children: “How to Grow a School Garden: A Complete Guide for Parents and Teachers” by Bucklin-Sporer and Pringle of the San Francisco Green Schoolyard Alliance (www.timberpress.com).

Kelly B. Todd Cerebral Palsy and Neuro-muscular Center Golf Tournament
May 23
Muskogee Country Club
918- 683-4621, info@kbtoddcpcenter.org or www.kbtoddcpcenter.org

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