Wellspring Grand Opening event promotes wellness
A gallery and greenhouse opened its doors to customers looking for locally-grown and locally-crafted items this week. It also opened the door to employment opportunities that some might struggle to find.
Wellspring Home and Garden held a Grand Opening celebration this week. The gallery and greenhouse is located at the hospital end of the Hickory Street Bridge, 115 E. St. Clair St., Warren.
Wellspring is a nonprofit art and artisan shop that features regional works of fine art and photography, artisan- crafted home decor and gifts.
The gallery features a wide variety of items created by local artisans. The greenhouse is filled with more than 5,000 organically-grown plants.
The plants rely solely on soil, sunlight, water and care from Wellspring staff. They are grown from seeds and no chemicals are used to produce them.
You won’t find an overabundance of flowers but there are plenty of varieties of tomatoes, peppers and herbs available. The focus of the greenhouse is food, according to Pam McGarry, coordinator of Fairweather Lodge. “Our mission is to promote wellness,” she said. “In addition to selling vegetables, we’ll be offering cooking classes.”
The Fairweather Lodge Program helps people reintegrate themselves into the community by providing emotional support, a place to live, and employment for its members. Wellspring offers that employment option for individuals recovering from mental-health disorders and addiction. “I’ve also hired people with disabilities,” McGarry said.
The Fairweather Lodge Program was developed by Dr. George Fairweather in California in 1963 as a result of extensive experimental research. In his studies, Dr. Fairweather found that people with serious mental illness are less likely to return to the hospital when they live and work together as a group, rather than live and work individually. His research also showed that the lodge program helps people stay in the community longer, provides more employment opportunities, and costs less than conventional treatment programs.
Wellspring also offers commercial and residential lawn care and landscaping services, according to McGarry. That service started last year under the guidance of Adam McNeill, executive director of Forest-Warren Mental Wellness Association, according to McGarry. “I came on to get the store up and running,” she said.
Wellspring is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is closed on Wednesday and Sunday.
For more information visit www.facebook.com/wellspringHG/.