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The New Garden Society LTD

 PO Box 301264
 Boston, MA 02130
[P] (617) 390-5085
[F] --
www.thenewgardensociety.org
[email protected]
Erika Rumbley
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INCORPORATED: 2014
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 47-2042823

LAST UPDATED: 10/31/2017
Organization DBA The New Garden Society
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No

Summary

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Mission StatementMORE »

The New Garden Society is run by horticulturists, landscapers and farmers who seek to expand green industry opportunities for our incarcerated and formerly incarcerated neighbors. The need to provide fresh produce for low-income residents in Massachusetts far outstrips current access. It’s a simple idea: incarcerated individuals gain the skills to transform barren prison yards into beautiful, productive food gardens. Community members gain access to healthy food while incarcerated individuals gain vocational skills.

Mission Statement

The New Garden Society is run by horticulturists, landscapers and farmers who seek to expand green industry opportunities for our incarcerated and formerly incarcerated neighbors. The need to provide fresh produce for low-income residents in Massachusetts far outstrips current access. It’s a simple idea: incarcerated individuals gain the skills to transform barren prison yards into beautiful, productive food gardens. Community members gain access to healthy food while incarcerated individuals gain vocational skills.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2017 to Dec 31, 2017
Projected Income $250,850.00
Projected Expense $248,200.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Full-Season Horticulture Practicum
  • Green Industry Pathways
  • Northeast Prison Garden Collaborative
  • The Plant Lab
  • Winter Horticulture Intensive

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown (%)

No data available

Expense Breakdown (%)

No data available

Expense Breakdown (%)

No data available

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Overview

Mission Statement

The New Garden Society is run by horticulturists, landscapers and farmers who seek to expand green industry opportunities for our incarcerated and formerly incarcerated neighbors. The need to provide fresh produce for low-income residents in Massachusetts far outstrips current access. It’s a simple idea: incarcerated individuals gain the skills to transform barren prison yards into beautiful, productive food gardens. Community members gain access to healthy food while incarcerated individuals gain vocational skills.

Background Statement

The organization's successes have been built on a solid foundation of agricultural expertise, strong work ethic, and proven leadership skills. During the past decade, TNGS Co-Founders Renee Portanova and Erika Rumbley have worked in the for-profit and non-profit agriculture and landscaping sector managing teams of adult co-workers, college interns, volunteers, and youth. Rumbley has over ten years experience growing vegetables and cut flowers. Currently, she manages greenhouse and field production at the largest organic vegetable farm in Eastern MA. Portanova brings experience working with youth and parents in urban gardens and orchards, as well as leading teams installing fine gardens, and undertaking ecological restoration. She is the Horticulture Director at the Charles River Esplanade Association.

In 2013 the MA Department of Correction issued their Annual Volunteer Report, highlighting unmet need for horticulture education. Portanova and Rumbley responded to that call, launching the First Annual Winter Horticulture Intensive. In state prison yards, Portanova and Rumbley encountered the most engaged adult learners of their careers. Incarcerated students rose to the intellectual and physical challenges of horticulture training, cultivating elegant, productive gardens.

Since 2013, The New Garden Society has offered year-round horticulture training at Bridgewater State Hospital and the Massachusetts Treatment Center in partnership with the MA Department of Correction (DOC). In prison classrooms, gardens and greenhouses, TNGS Horticulture Educators teach the art and science of growing plants- from soil science to integrated pest management.
 
In 2015, TNGS launched Summer Plant Lab, a pilot horticulture course for students in the custody of the Department of Youth Services (DYS) at Judge Connelly Youth Center, in partnership with the Collaborative for Educational Services. With the garden as the classroom, TNGS engages students in core environmental science topics while opening a door to the possibilities of vocational horticulture. Building on a successful pilot, The Plant Lab expanded in 2016 to a year-round training in the fundamental concepts of horticulture and the core skills required for small-scale, sustainable land care in New England. The course satisfies all applicable strands in The Department of Youth and Secondary Education’s Framework for Vocational Technical Education in Horticulture.
 

Impact Statement

Each year, The New Garden Society trains incarcerated students in the art and science of plants. Each week in prison classrooms, we teach core horticulture concepts. In prison gardens and greenhouses, students apply these concepts, find healing and build job skills. 
 
Since 2013 TNGS has shown positive outcomes from its prison-based programs, including high satisfaction and high retention rates. Long waiting lists at our sites attest to the need for TNGS's programming.

During the 2016 growing season, over 100 incarcerated adults and detained youth participated in The New Garden Society’s (TNGS) year-round horticulture trainings, producing over 1,000 pounds of fresh produce. In 2017, TNGS aims to 

- Continue to provide horticulture training in secure facilities which supports participants’ wellbeing, existing treatment plans and student goals. Provide this training to 100+ student inmates.

- Recruit, train and support a team of 6 landscape professionals to serve as prison-based Horticulture Educators. 
- Increase yields of food and flowers at each site.
- Use existing evaluation tools including a Vocational Horticulture Skills Checklist for each student.
- Strengthen and streamline collaboration with host agencies including collaborative program evaluation and creative solutions for integrating harvests into facility kitchens.
 

Needs Statement

In 2017, The New Garden Society seeks a fundraising consultant to work with the Co-Directors and Board of Directors in creating a feasible fundraising plan.  
While TNGS is volunteer-driven, the organization seeks to raise $45,000 to support core staff positions to coordinate volunteers, serve as primary contacts with the state agencies with whom we partner (MA DOC and MA DYS) and research horticultural opportunities for TNGS students in re-entry in Greater Boston. 
 

CEO Statement

TNGS is the only provider of horticulture therapy services in the sites where we work. Prison horticulture therapy is uniquely situated to provide skills training and affect positive behavioral change that will help prisoners to find stable employment once released, as indicated by the evidence linking prison horticulture programming to reduced recidivism. Dr. Richard Mattson tested 383 probationers participating in horticulture therapy programming over 3 years. As James Jiller explains in 'Doing Time in the Garden': “Those in the horticulture test group showed significant changes in self-­esteem, general and specific horticultural knowledge and a high environmental awareness. More importantly, those who took part in the twelve-­month horticulture therapy program had a recidivism rate of 26% compared to 49% for those parolees not involved.” Our educators are landscape professionals, and our status as a private organization means we have the ability to connect participants to industry allies post-­release. - Erika Rumbley


Board Chair Statement

We work on public land in partnership with a constellation of state agencies; while the potential is great for creating lasting benefits in public and ecological health, the pathway is circuitous and unclear. Many road blocks we have faced are deeply frustrating-­-­pursuing greenhouse-­based vocational training for incarcerated women for a year to see the contract dissolve in state budget cuts – but we are persistent, problem-­solving advocates for our students’ access to land and expertise. In 2013, TNGS was invited to renovate a decade-­old garden in disrepair at Bridgewater State Hospital, a prison south of Boston. In collaboration with students, we have renovated the landscape in phases as we devise creative solutions for enacting horticulture industry standards while complying with protocols of a secure facility and the realities of DOC understaffing. In 2015, after two years of relationship building, we successfully brought a DOC dump truck into the facility to amend the soils with organic compost donated by a local farm. -Renée Portanova


Geographic Area Served

GREATER BOSTON REGION, MA
The New Garden Society currently serves students at the Judge Connelly Youth Center (DYS) in Boston, MA; Bridgewater State Hospital (DOC) in Bridgewater, MA; and The Massachusetts Treatment Center (DOC) in Bridgewater, MA. TNGS is currently designing a pilot program for Old Colony Correctional Center (DOC). 

Organization Categories

  1. Education - Vocational & Technical Schools
  2. Environment - Botanical, Horticultural & Landscape Services
  3. Food, Agriculture & Nutrition - Management & Technical Assistance

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)

No

Programs

Full-Season Horticulture Practicum

The Practicum features structured outdoor gardening sessions and student-centered garden design, implementation and maintenance. Periodic homework and reading assignments will provide participants the opportunity to delve deeper into a topic than our 2-hour sessions allow. Harvests from the gardens and greenhouses during the Practicum will be available to program participants and donated to a local food pantry to serve neighbors in need.
Budget  --
Category  Education, General/Other Vocational Education
Population Served Offenders/Ex-Offenders Adults Males
Program Short-Term Success 
Annually, TNGS engages approximately 100 youth and adult students in vocational and therapeutic horticulture training. Our prison-based programs are designed to help students understand the fundamental concepts of horticulture and provide training in the core skills required for small-scale, sustainable gardening in New England. Hands-on training emphasizes annual vegetable production.
 
Many students report an immediate therapeutic benefit from the programs, as well. One student, O., said at the end of one season in the practicum, "It changed me. I better be out there and water the flowers than be in the block or better than being miserable. Its enjoyable not to think about anything else. Takes you out of the mindset of being in this place. It frees you."
 
The produce harvested by students is donated to local food pantries, which has an immediate impact on their communities. In 2016, prison gardens facilitated by The New Garden Society yielded over 600 pounds of fresh produce, expanding healthy food access for their food insecure neighbors.
 
Program Long-Term Success 
For students who complete our programs before being released, we are currently developing partnerships that would allow us to track their success in finding employment in the green industry. Our contract with the DOC does not allow us to remain in touch with students post-release, so developing a pipeline out of prison and into stable employment is our next step in determining how many of our students attain long-term success with our program.
 
We have also established a strong, supportive relationship between our students and the local food pantries, which has the potential for significantly reducing the number of food insecure people in the communities around these prisons.
Program Success Monitored By 
The New Garden Society utilizes both quantitative and qualitative evaluation instruments to gauge program success. Attendance records attest to student engagement and retention rates for our elective programming. In the classroom, TNGS utilizes pre and post tests to gauge students' comprehension of core horticulture concepts and ability to apply them to common scenarios from the field. In the field, TNGS trainings align with all applicable Technical Knowledge from the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (MA DESE) Vocational Technical Education Framework in Horticulture.
 
Accordingly, field competencies are measured throughout the season using all applicable Performance Examples from the MA DESE Vocational Technical Education Framework in Horticulture.
 
Additionally, TNGS staff perform weekly qualitative assessments to monitor student engagement, team work and communication. Because TNGS staff team-teach at all sites, often alternating sessions, these assessments allow educators to support students' progress and curtail any growing issues among participating students.
 
All students participate in end-of-season self-evaluations to assess the impacts of the program. These assessments may be written or performed in a group setting, depending on the literacy level of participating students.
 
Examples of Program Success  Since beginning our programs in 2013, we have been solicited by many other facilities within Massachusetts to bring our successful horticultural training to their sites. In 2016, The New Garden Society was awarded Volunteers of the Year by the Department of Corrections. In addition to the 400+ students we have served, and the thousands of pounds of produce we have donated to local food pantries since our founding in 2013, we have gained hundreds of supporters 'on the outside,' and had a full profile published on our programs in the Summer 2017 issue of Edible Boston.

Green Industry Pathways

An intensive vocational training program available to up to four students each quarter, Green Industry Pathways builds skills in agriculture, landscaping, greenhouse maintenance, and related green industry. Students will build hands-on skills by working regularly in on-site gardens and greenhouse at the Connelly. This course is designed to prepare students for careers in small-scale, sustainable land care in New England. The course satisfies all applicable strands in The Department of Youth and Secondary Education’s Framework for Vocational Technical Education in Horticulture. Seasonal focus would unfold as follows: winter: Soil Health and Garden Planning; spring: Greenhouse Management and Field Preparation; summer: Pest and Disease Management; fall: Harvest and Marketing.
Budget  --
Category  Education, General/Other Vocational Education
Population Served Offenders/Ex-Offenders Adolescents Only (13-19 years) Males
Program Short-Term Success  .
Program Long-Term Success  .
Program Success Monitored By  .
Examples of Program Success  .

Northeast Prison Garden Collaborative

We believe in building capacity to expand the work of prison horticulture educators across the region, and to build common evaluation frameworks to understand our impact. To this end, we are founding organizers of The Northeast Prison Garden Educators Collaborative. The Collaborative currently includes 30+ prison garden practitioners from Pennsylvania to Maine who gather to promote prison horticulture, and share curricular resources and best practices. We host an Annual Retreat and Quarterly Convergences, and have created a listserv of educators to allow for ongoing resource sharing across programs.
Budget  --
Category  Education, General/Other
Population Served Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Program Short-Term Success  --
Program Long-Term Success  --
Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program Success  --

The Plant Lab

An interdisciplinary course connecting garden activity to academic classwork, The Plant Lab gives all residents of DYS' Judge Connelly Youth Center access to the garden and a taste of introductory horticulture skills and topics. Aligned with science curricula, weekly garden-based classes will be an opportunity for applied, hands-on learning and conversations with guest speakers from the Green Industry. Additionally, all teachers will have access to use the garden as a classroom for English, art and social sciences. Harvests will be enjoyed out-of-hand or simply prepared in class.

Interested and capable students will participate in garden maintenance. TNGS provides garden design, safe material sourcing and supervision for all garden maintenance. 

Budget  --
Category  Education, General/Other Elementary & Secondary Education
Population Served Offenders/Ex-Offenders Adolescents Only (13-19 years) Males
Program Short-Term Success  .
Program Long-Term Success  .
Program Success Monitored By  .
Examples of Program Success  .

Winter Horticulture Intensive

An eight-week, prison-based course, The Winter Horticulture Intensive increases students' literacy in the fundamental concepts of horticulture and provides training in the core skills required for small-scale, sustainable land care in New England.
Budget  --
Category  Education, General/Other Vocational Education
Population Served Offenders/Ex-Offenders Adults Males
Program Short-Term Success  .
Program Long-Term Success  .
Program Success Monitored By  .
Examples of Program Success  .

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Management


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Renée Portanova
CEO Term Start Nov 2014
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience
Renée Portanova is a horticulturist and environmental educator. Currently, she serves as the Horticulture Manager at The Esplanade Association. There, in collaboration with the Department of Conservation and Recreation, she helps to manage the Charles River Esplanade, Boston’s premiere park located in the lower basin of the Charles River. She holds degrees in Psychology, Conservation Biology and Environmental Education from Manhattan College, Columbia University and Lesley University, respectively. Renee received her Organic Land Care Professional accreditation through the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) and UMASS Green School Landscaping Management certification in 2010. Renée's teaching experience includes a breadth of horticultural topics, to various communities. Her pedagogical approach is both political and scientific, emphasizing the importance of horticulture in our society and personal lives. She brings proficiency, through extensive field work, and her passion for teaching/learning to every "classroom" setting. Renee's field experience includes "best practices' in land management in the following settings: specialty cut flower farm, fine gardening, orcharding and ecological restoration. Co-founding and directing The New Garden Society is an ideal synthesis of her passion, education and expertise. Originally from Long Island, NY, Renée currently resides in Jamaica Plain, MA with her family.
 
Co-CEO Ms. Erika Rumbley
Co-CEO Term Start Nov 2014
Co-CEO Email [email protected]
Co-CEO Experience Erika Rumbley is an organic farmer and sustainable agriculture educator. Currently, Erika serves as the Greenhouse Manager at Langwater Farm, a 50 acre Certified Organic vegetable farm in Easton, MA. A North Carolina native, Erika has found her home in the Northeast for over a decade. Erika is a graduate of Vassar College, with an Honors BA in Environmental Studies and is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards including the Helen Dwight Reid Fellowship for service on The Crow Indian Reservation. Since her first farm apprenticeship in 2005, Erika has farmed in Washington State, New York, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Her most formative experiences as an agriculture educator include her time with Cornell Cooperative Extension, Southside Community Land Trust and The Trustees of Reservations. Fluent in the social, economic and ecological forces at play in rebuilding our regional food system, Erika brings a collaborative approach to the challenges of farming in New England.

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
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Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
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Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
Volunteers of the Year MA Department of Corrections 2016

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
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Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

The New Garden Society collaborates with the Massachusetts Department of Corrections, the Collaborative for Educational Services and the Department of Youth Services. The New Garden Society also collaborates with Sisters Unchained. 

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

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Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 0
Number of Part Time Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 15
Number of Contract Staff 3
Staff Retention Rate % 0%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 3
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 3
Male: 0
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers N/A
Management Succession Plan No
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Under Development
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Exempt
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions

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Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually

Governance


Board Chair Ms. Renee Portanova
Board Chair Company Affiliation Environmental Educator
Board Chair Term Jan 2016 - Jan 2018
Board Co-Chair Erika Rumbley
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation Langwater Farm
Board Co-Chair Term Jan 2016 - Feb 2018

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Sarah Ard Specialist in Vocational Horticulture Education Voting
Matthew Delsesto Prison Horticulture Programming Specialist Voting
Robert Fettig Clinical Social Worker Voting
Brandy Henry Clinical Social Worker Voting
Christopher B. Logue Legal Advisor Voting
Kristina Marcus Mental Health Counselor Voting
Hadas Yanay Horticulture Educator Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Maura Ackerman Project Bread --
Rex Baker IV Attorney --
Lucia Droby Community Outreach Group for Landscape Design --
Martha Merson TERC --
Jo Ann Whitehead Retired Community Horticulture Educator --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 7
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 1
Other (if specified): Middle Eastern
Gender Female: 5
Male: 3
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 77%
Written Board Selection Criteria Under Development
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 43%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions --
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees

  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Governance and Policy
  • Performance and Quality Improvement
  • Volunteer

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

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Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown (%)

No data available

Expense Breakdown (%)

No data available

Expense Breakdown (%)

No data available

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2017 to Dec 31, 2017
Projected Income $250,850.00
Projected Expense $248,200.00
Form 990s

2016 990N E-Postcard

Audit Documents --
IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

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Total Revenue -- -- --
Total Expenses -- -- --

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

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Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
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Government Contributions -- -- --
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    State -- -- --
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Individual Contributions -- -- --
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue -- -- --
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- --
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year -- -- --
Program Expense -- -- --
Administration Expense -- -- --
Fundraising Expense -- -- --
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses -- -- --
Program Expense/Total Expenses -- -- --
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue -- -- --

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year -- -- --
Total Assets -- -- --
Current Assets -- -- --
Long-Term Liabilities -- -- --
Current Liabilities -- -- --
Total Net Assets -- -- --

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year -- -- --
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
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2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
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3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
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Financial Planning

Endowment Value $0.00
Spending Policy Income Only
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund No
How many months does reserve cover? 0.00

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose 0
Campaign Goal $0.00
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year -- -- --
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities -- -- --

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year -- -- --
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets -- -- --

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

This organization is newer and does not yet have any financial data to report.

Documents


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.

Impact

The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.


1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

As our programs continue to grow, and more of our students find sustainable positions in the Green Industry, our goal is to reduce the recidivism rate in Massachusetts.
 
We hope to expand our impact through our NE Prison Garden Collaborative, which brings together prison garden industry professionals from across the Northeast to share best practices and resources. Through regular convening of this Collaborative, we also hope to positively impact the recidivism rate in the region as a whole.
 
All of the land on which we currently work was former farmland, to which we are hoping to restore the biodiversity it once enjoyed. Through many years of cultivating this land, we will improve the local air quality, as well as the emotional climate of the facilities in which we work. Those enjoying the harvested produce, including local food insecure seniors and others who frequent the food banks to which we donate, will also experience improved health.

2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

For all of the participants in our training, we seek to provide transferable knowledge and skills that will increase their likelihood of obtaining long-term, stable employment post-release, including soft skills such as working in a team. Through the proven therapeutic benefits of garden work, we hope to assuage the mental health issues that face many incarcerated individuals. This in combination with the nutritional benefits of eating fresh organic produce provide opportunities for our students to obtain a healthier body and mind, which are necessary to a successful reentry process. Each of these components positively impact the recidivism rates of individuals in our trainings.
 
In order to achieve environmental restoration to these sites, we only practice organic gardening, and use methods to build the soil of the land in which we work, planting native plants that will restore greater biodiversity to the land in and around the facility. 

3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?


The Founders and Co-Directors of TNGS, Erika Rumbley and Renée Portanova, both have extensive experience in horticulture, adult education, project management and volunteer training. Renée has worked in project management with diverse stakeholders, ranging from grassroots nonprofits to educational institutions to state agencies.
As Horticulture Manager for The Charles River Esplanade, Portanova annually engages over 3000 volunteers, the MA Dept. of Conservation & Recreation, board members and public park enthusiasts to pool tools, labor and approvals in order to realize ambitious ecological restoration with a staff of just two people.

In addition to teaching TNGS’s horticultural programs, Rumbley has facilitated Boston Natural Area Network’s Master Urban Gardener training. She also built a network in Providence connecting the city's 500 "guerrilla" gardeners. For each constituency, she recognized what they might need and what they could give. The network enlisted old-timers to share their expertise; connected gardeners to markets; and channeled the power of the affluent as the city agreed to transform vacant lots into gardens. Currently, Rumbley serves as the Greenhouse Manager at one of Eastern Massachusetts’ largest certified organic farms, producing cut flowers, fruit and vegetables.
 
Portanova and Rumbley are joined each year by a team of Green Industry professionals, landscapers, farmers and horticulturalists who seek to share their expertise and further open doors to this industry.

4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

The New Garden Society leads three lines of work: a regional network of prison educators; programming for detained youth with a STEM learning and job focus; and programming for incarcerated adults with a therapeutic and vocational focus. The text below relates to this last area as it is our longest-running programming:
 
We anticipate that through our prison-based adult training programs, a team of Horticulture Educators will serve 40-50 students, with at least 50% of those students completing the full-season training and receiving a Horticulture Practicum Certificate. In collaboration with TNGS's Board Working Committee on Program Evaluation (formed in February 2016), Horticulture Educators now utilize updated evaluation tools. We anticipate that all students will demonstrate significant knowledge and skill gains. We anticipate that 80%+ of students will demonstrate a strong interest in pursuing a green industry career post-release, and that at least 50% of students will participate in this full suite of evaluation methods:
- A Pre/Post Test to evaluate changes in understanding of core horticulture concepts
- A "Vocational Skills in Horticulture Checklist"; developed with input from regional horticulture industry employers, to evaluate changes in career preparedness and horticulture-specific vocational skills. Importantly, this evaluation tool also serves as an education tool for Horticulture Educators to share current, industry-relevant language to describe skills and experiences in future resumes and interviews.
- An Exit Questionnaire to evaluate changes in attitude, behavior and horticulture-related goals beyond the program.
 
Additionally, TNGS Horticulture Educators track the following metrics: attendance, harvest yield, participation and recreation officer feedback. Duwe and Clark's 2014 study, "The Effects of Prison-Based Educational Programming on Recidivism and Employment" in The Prison Journal found, "those who had access to post-secondary educational opportunities had lower rates of recidivism. The results suggest that, on the whole, investing in prison-based educational programming is likely to help improve individuals’ reentry outcomes to some degree.” Even more significantly, three meta-analyses published by The National Institute of Justice, "found that there were significant reductions in recidivism (including reoffending, rearrest, reconviction, reincarceration, and technical parole violations) for inmates who participated in vocational training programs, compared with inmates who did not participate. Looking at 17 studies, Wilson, Gallagher, and MacKenzie (2000) found that inmates who participated in prison-based vocational training programs were significantly less likely to recidivate compared with inmates who had not participated (odds ratio=1.55). This means that, for example, if the comparison group
had a recidivism rate of 50 percent, the recidivism rate of training program participants would be 39 percent."
Unfortunately, we do not currently have DOC approval to have access to our students outside of the education program and know the specific reentry outcomes of TNGS' graduates. While it is an organizational priority to understand program impact in regards to employment (in the horticulture field and in general) and recidivism rates, we do not currently have the means to do so. This is an ongoing conversation with the Director of Treatment at each facility and other organizations in the prison education space in Boston, and we welcome constructive feedback on this important issue.
 

5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

M.M.