Raritan Valley Community College, in partnership with the Rotary Club of Branchburg, is breaking ground on an Enabling Garden. The 7,500 square-foot garden, which will be located next to RVCC’s Conference Center, is being created in part as an Eagle Scout project by Patrick O’Rourke of Pittstown. The 15-year-old, who is the son of Brian O’Rourke, RVCC Executive Director of Facilities & Grounds, is working on the project in partnership with the Rotary Club of Branchburg. The Rotary Club of Branchburg Foundation provided $3,500 of “seed money” for the garden.
The Enabling Garden is one of several such gardens in Central New Jersey created as part of a partnership between Rotary International District 7510 (Central New Jersey) and Rutgers University and its entities, New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) and Cooperative Extension.
Launched in 2011, the “Rotary and Rutgers: Growing Lives One Seed at a Time” initiative features barrier-free, accessible gardens,and/or activities, provided with modifications to be enjoyed by people with disabilities. Nine pilots, through the “Growing Lives” projectin Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset, and Union counties, promote the benefits of working with plants for people of all ages, regardless of their physical or mental challenges.