Gardening provides those in addiction recovery healing, chance to give back

Local News

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office is using a plot of land for a Garden Project. It provides therapy for people staying at the Care Campus in Rapid City.

Pulling weeds, gathering onions, then giving back to the community…That’s just a few things happening here at the Garden Project.

“It’s selfless work and I think that’s what is therapeutic about it is because we’re not going to gain anything from but what we take from it,” Recovering addict said.

Instead of the usual lessons in the classroom, this group is able to get outdoors.

Brent Lambley is a recovering addict, 21 years sober. He is currently an addiction counselor at the CareCampus.

“It’s a really good exercise for the clients. One of the things with addiction is that it’s very selfish and this is something very selfless they get to do. Addiction involves a lot of instant gratification and this is the exact opposite of that,” Lambley said.

Groups start coming out for the Garden Project during the month of May. It ends around the first week of October.

Supervisor and retired correctional officer, Leo Spear, says all of the vegetables grown on the garden go to the jail or shelters in the area.

“It gives them a chance to get out and give back to the community but also helps with their rehabilitation and what they are doing with their drug and alcohol class. You know fresh air and sunshine, get out of the building type thing,” Spear said.

All in efforts to sustain the road to recovery, one seed at a time.

“I like giving back to the community. I spent so many years hurting the community and I think that by giving back I’m starting to heal myself,” Recovering addict said.

The Garden Project started in 2013 and was designed to help inmates at the Pennington County Jail. This is the first year those with a substance use disorder at the Care Campus are able to use it.

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