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Helping Kids Bloom
Donated Garden Provides Soothing Space for Youths in Need

Helping Kids Bloom

Located on 1.62 acres of land donated by the Village of Glenview, near Chicago, Youth Services enjoys Chalet's Friendship Garden, which provides a retreat-type space in which clients can feel at home in a nurturing, caring and safe environment. Through the horticulture therapy provided by the landscape, at-risk children's health, mood, creativity and productivity can improve significantly.

Helping Kids Bloom

This alcove at the center of the garden, enclosed by sitting walls and a pergola, provides a beautiful area where kids can sit and privately talk with their counselors while being surrounded by nature.

Youth Services, a non-profit organization in Glenview, Illinois, serves at-risk community youth and provides after-school programs, activities, sports, tutoring, counseling, therapy and more. Last year, the company won a public competition organized by Chalet Landscape, Nursery and Garden Center, which offered a local non-profit organization up to $100,000 towards designing and installing a new landscape.

Chalet's team of landscape architects and designers spent dozens of hours reviewing applications and interviewing prospective winners. Youth Services was selected primarily because of its ability to reach many young people with special needs.

The resulting landscape, designed and installed by Chalet, makes the most of a previously empty space and features seating areas of various sizes for groups and individual counseling sessions. The firm installed a vegetable garden for hands-on, a curvilinear pathway system with adjacent patio spaces, a pergola, an irrigation system and extensive plantings for year-round interest.

"The children and staff were the best part of working on this project," shares Erik Braun, director of design at Chalet. "Walking them through the completed design and teaching them about plants - how to plant vegetables - and seeing them smiling and laughing was icing on the cake."

It was a very involved experience for all members of the Chalet team. Chalet horticulturalist and new business development director Robert Milani even got down in the dirt with the kids to show them how to tend the garden once the landscape was finished.

The outdoor oasis was installed for children and Youth Services staff to enhance their surroundings and programs by creating a soothing, comforting and beautiful space to interact with and enjoy. The landscape is used by hundreds of individuals on a weekly basis.

As seen in LASN magazine, October 2018.

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July 15, 2019, 8:04 pm PDT

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