The Bill and Kali Show visit with Guests Mary Ann and Mark Neiner of Planting Possibilities
Mary Ann and Mark talk to us about how and why they started ‘Planting Possibilities‘ and their plans for the future. Although they are currently at Campagna Academy, they discuss their goals and plans to develop their own facility.
Description of Planting Possibilities from their Facebook Page
“Planting Possibilities is a nonprofit with the mission of improving the possibility of meaningful employment for adults with autism and other developmental disabilities. Our vision begins with acquiring 8-10 acres of land in Lake County, Indiana to build a greenhouse that will provide disabled adults with employment, job skills training, and volunteer opportunities.
Think about the personal satisfaction you achieve from performing a job well. Adults with developmental disabilities also enjoy feeling the same sense of pride and accomplishment. Unfortunately, about two-thirds of adults with disabilities are not working. When these young adults age out of local high school programs at the age of 22, they are too often left with very little direction or opportunity. Planting Possibilities’ mission is to fulfill this need in our community.
It is our goal to provide a nurturing environment where developmentally disabled adults in Lake County, Indiana can work toward their own goals of building fulfilling lives through work. As we continue to grow, we hope to build a gift/garden shop, botanical gardens with event space, and, ultimately, adjacent supported living accommodations for employees/trainees with developmental disabilities in need of such arrangements. This process is broken down into a projected 7 stages. For more information, visit our website at http://www.plantingpossibilities.org.”
The Vision Statement from the Planting Possibilities Website.
At Planting Possibilities it is our goal to build a greenhouse, gift and garden shop, botanical gardens with event space, and, ultimately, adjacent supported living accommodations for trainees with autism and other developmental disabilities in need in Northwest Indiana. We plan to accomplish our goal in a series of 7 phases.
Our Growth Plan: 7 Phases to Realize Our Vision
Phase 1: Provide Job Skills Training Opportunities
Recruit existing employers to provide job skills training, employment or meaningful volunteer opportunities to adults with autism and other developmental disabilities.
Phase 2: Acquire Land
Acquire approximately 10 acres in an appropriate location. Continue to support our trainees at the recruited employers.
Phase 3: Build Hoophouses and a Greenhouse, Hire Professional Staff
Build several hoophouses and a greenhouse, and hire professional staff to begin operations. Transition adults with autism and other developmental disabilities into paid and volunteer positions.
Phase 4: Build the Commercial Sales Building
Build the commercial sales building, and move the sales area from the greenhouse into the sales building. The sales building will provide for added merchandise space, including items that are made by the greenhouse trainees. The sales building can also accommodate gardening workshops and other activities to draw public support.
Phase 5: Plant the Botanical Garden
Launch a multi-year project to plant the botanical garden, to be planted and maintained entirely by Planting Possibilities trainees. This garden will function as a living testament to their abilities.
Phase 6: Add-on the Conservatory/Small Event Facility
Add on the small event facility, with commercial kitchen in the sales building, in the style of a conservatory. Surrounded by the botanical garden, the conservatory/small event facility will provide a beautiful garden setting for small gatherings such as business luncheons/dinners, baby/bridal showers, community group meetings, and birthday/anniversary/holiday parties. Events will be hosted by a professional staff and trainees, providing additional types of job training opportunities.
Phase 7: Build Apartment Buildings
Build apartment buildings on the premises. Since many adults with autism and other developmental disabilities do not drive, onsite living quarters will open Planting Possibilities to a broader population. Any necessary supported living staff will be provided by local service providers.
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