CC Young Senior Living Cultivates Community and Harvests Hope through On-campus Horticulture Therapy for Senior Adults

June 13, 2023 | Wellness

Community to dedicate new greenhouse, garden beds on June 16; public invited to attend

In the words of Audrey Hepburn, “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow,” and that is what CC Young Senior Living is doing for its residents and the greater Dallas community – believing and investing in a better tomorrow through its horticultural therapy program for senior adults. On Friday, June 16 at 10 a.m., CC Young will expand this program with the dedication of a new greenhouse and six raised garden beds in the courtyard of The Point located in the heart of the CC Young 20-acre campus. The event is free and open to the public.

According to Dallas-based horticultural therapist Sandra Zelley, LCSW, horticultural therapy – the use of plants, horticultural activities, and the natural environment — has been proven to offer significant mental, spiritual, and physical health benefits for senior adults, including reduced anxiety and depression, improved balance and fine motor skills and increased memory. Studies also show that personal well-being is improved for multigenerational groups and individuals through the experiences of this connection.

The new green space will feature six, raised Vego modular garden beds that are user-friendly and durable for planting vegetables, herbs, and flowers. A significant portion of the courtyard space will be dedicated to an 8-foot by 22-foot pollinator garden that will provide food for bees and butterflies, which play a vital role in pollinating crops and sustaining the ecosystem. Additionally, there will be a cutting bed residents can use to plant and grow flowers for fresh-cut bouquets as well as a garden dedicated to harvesting vegetables that can be used for cooking lessons on campus or donated to local food pantries.

The greenhouse will provide an opportunity for residents to care for and propagate orchids and other plants that provide beauty as well as healing and restorative properties.

“This new green space is a result of a vision our team members and residents had to improve the lives of our residents, and also give back to the greater Dallas community,” said Russell Crews, president and CEO of

CC Young Senior Living. “Our horticultural therapy program gives residents the opportunity to be inspired, learn, and play in the dirt, which has proven to enrich the lives of older adults. We are excited about coming together with such terrific and respected community partners to bring this new green space to life.” 

CC Young partnered with a team of community members and organizations to make this project a success including:

  • Dr. Theresa Daniel, Dallas County, District 1
  • Paula Blackmon, Dallas City Council, District 9
  • Katerina Velascoe-Graham, Agent, Texas A&M AgriLife
  • Cynthia Jones, M.D., Dallas County Master Gardener Association
  • Sandra Zelley, Horticulture Therapist
  • Roseann Ferguson, Texas Discovery Gardens
  • Karl Varian, Greater North Texas Orchid Society
  • Dave Forehand, Vice President of Gardens, Dallas Arboretum

CC Young, with the help of its community partners, will continue to provide monthly educational programs and lectures on various gardening topics and orchid care. These programs will provide measurable benefits to older adults including improved mood, movement, reduced stress levels, and improved cognitive functioning, as well as give individuals a sense of purpose and accomplishment.

“We are proud that The Point is recognized as a welcoming community hub for our residents and the public,” said Brian Parman, director of The Point & Pavilion at CC Young Senior Living. “The new gardens and greenhouse are a wonderful addition to our horticultural therapy program. They will not only enhance the lives of the older adults we serve but also bring beauty and kindness back into the world, which is needed now more than ever.” 

A portion of the project has been made possible by CC Young resident Judy Cook.

Cynthia Jones, M.D. and former president, Dallas County Master Gardener Association added, “Bravo and best wishes to CC Young for recognizing the many mental and physical benefits of gardening and providing such a lovely and welcoming environment for the residents to create their own unique experiences. As we age, it is tempting to give up some of our more strenuous activities, like gardening. However, I believe the words of Allan Armitage, who said, ‘Gardening simply does not allow one to be mentally old, because too many hopes and dreams are yet to be realized.’” 

For more information about CC Young’s gardening initiative, please contact Angela Castillo at [email protected] or Brian Parman at [email protected].

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