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|August 12 , 2004
||Coria Holland, Director of Communications
CULTIVATE FLOWERS AND CLEAR BRUSH
AT MASSACHUSETTS HORTICULTURAL
A group of 20 juvenile offenders are helping
to maintain the grounds of the Horticulture Center at Elm
Bank in Dover as part of the Massachusetts Trial Court
Community Service Program. Elm Bank is the home of the
Massachusetts Horticultural Society.
The Community Service Program is managed
by the Office of Community Corrections which falls under
the jurisdiction of the Office of the Commissioner of Probation.
a week, the young men from the Suffolk Juvenile Resource
Center, ages 13 to 16, participate in landscaping projects
such as edging, weed removal, and clearing brush. Last
week, the young men cleared out a mosquito infestation.
The Massachusetts Horticultural Society is responsible
for maintaining and grooming 36 acres of the 184-acre
property. Daylillies, roses, rhododendren, and herbs are
among the many varieties of flowers and plants featured
at Elm Bank.
There is also an educational component of
the project during which the boys learn about planting
and cultivation. The boys are also introduced to the
various species of flowers grown at Elm Bank, which serves
as one of only 16 Trial and Display gardens in the country.
A Trial and Display Garden is where seed companies send
seed samples to be grown and tested to determine the best
conditions in which they grow. The young boys have planted
a total of 20,000 plants and flowers since the Community
Service Program began 12 weeks ago. A group of adult offenders
from the Dedham District Court also help maintain the
"This is a perfect job for juveniles. They
get to see a week by week process of the plants that they
have planted grow," said Kevin Duggan, Statewide Supervisor
of the Massachusetts Trial Court Community Service Program. "It
is a great opportunity for the kids. They are exposed to
something that they have not been exposed to on a regular
The young men said they enjoy the work they
do at Elm Bank.
“This is a good program. I'm making
a man out of myself and I am helping the community," said
"I'd rather be here, outside, than staying
in the building in the summer," said another youth who
did not want to be identified.
is giving us a second chance. If I weren’t in the
program, I might be in jail. It feels like we are accomplishing
The young men are not the only ones who
benefit from the experience. Clark Bryan, Operations
Director for Elm Bank, said the work the juveniles complete
helps to bridge a gap created by budget shortages.
are very low. Therefore, we depend on the goodwill of agencies.
We match their (juvenile offenders) skills to the work
we do and it has worked out well," said
Clark Bryan, Operations Director for Elm Bank.
Bryan continued, "Most
of them are not bad kids. We want to help steer them in
the right direction and help them learn that they can get
better things out of life through hard work."