Skip to Content
Author: The BCW

Therapeutic Garden Blooms at Westchester Institute for Human Development

L to R: Assemblyman David Buchwald, Senator Shelley Mayer, WIHD Child Welfare Services & CAC Director Danielle Weisberg, Brendan Klein, WIHD Community Support Network Naomi Brickel, and WIHD President and CEO Susan Fox

With the help of community partners and the initiative of one of its staff members, Westchester Institute for Human Development (WIHD) has opened a new garden called “Adam’s Garden” to provide therapeutic benefits to children and families and to engage young adults with disabilities in community service.

Filled with seasonal flowers and vegetables, this landscaped area is a small, but impactful, community program. The garden is the brainchild of 24-year-old Brendan Klein, who was hired with a grant from the Taft Foundation to expand community service opportunities for young adults with disabilities. Community partners Pleasantville Community Garden and St. John’s Episcopal Church helped create the garden, which is named in memory of Adam Brickel, the son of WIHD Director of Community Support Network Naomi Brickel, Brendan’s supervisor.

Susan Fox, President and CEO of Westchester Institute for Human Development and co-chair of the BCW’s Not-for-Profit Council, said the garden represented the spirit of WIHD, a place where people put aside personal concerns to help others. She thanked Klein, his mother and father and the partners – Pleasantville Community Gardens and St. John’s Episcopal Church – who provided technical support and seed money for the project.

“This garden is a small but mighty project,’’ she said. “It shows how an idea, no matter how small, with the right support and community involvement can make a huge impact.”

At a ribbon cutting ceremony for the garden attended by staff, friends and elected officials, Brickel unveiled a wooden bench made by Klein and his father, the centerpiece of the garden. She said that she was honored and touched that Klein had suggested naming the garden after her son, who died suddenly at age 15. Brickel said that it was a fitting tribute to a young man who had spent most of his short life helping others.

Klein, who spends many hours volunteering at the Pleasantville Community Garden, said he got the idea after he learned that WIHD had once had a garden. He said he hoped the children in WIHD’s Child Welfare program, which helps to counsel families and children to prevent child abuse, would feel “happy and safe” in the garden.

The event was attended by Senator Shelley Mayer; Assemblymen David Buchwald and Tom Abinanti; The Rev. Mary Gregorius, Rector, St. John’s Episcopal Church and David Juros, Pleasantville Community Garden.

“Westchester County is so fortunate to have WIHD advocating and providing opportunities for people with disabilities to live full and rich lives,” said Marsha Gordon, President and CEO of the BCW. “In particular, the BCW is also grateful for Susan Fox’s leadership on the Not-for-Profit Council, and we look forward to continued partnerships that benefit all members of our community here in Westchester.”

Similar News Items

The Business Council of Westchester’s Valley Bank Leadership Conversations welcomed New York Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins on Thursday to share insights into her career and personal journey. Marsha Gordon, the BCW’s president and CEO, moderated the conversation at Kanopi in White Plains, where Stewart-Cousins recounted her diverse career path, including roles in customer service, […]

Read Article

If there is one subject virtually all business leaders agree on, it is that New York State’s energy landscape is changing. The challenge is that the paths forward are numerous, confusing and often are at odds with the practical realities of implementation costs and technological challenges. The Business Council of Westchester has spent the last […]

Read Article

The Business Council of Westchester’s Westchester Innovation Network (WIN) continues its mission of fostering innovation by facilitating a match between former WPHS graduate and recent Sacred Heart University graduate Michael Berlingo and seasoned executive coach Sunni Lampasso. This collaboration brings together the youthful energy and vision of Berlingo, CEO of Starteryou, with the wisdom and […]

Read Article

Become A Member

Join the county’s largest and most influential business organization today.

JOIN NOW!
The Business Council of Westchester is committed to helping businesses market, learn, advocate, and grow. Over 80 events and programs are offered every year, giving our members ample opportunity to connect and meet with businesses representatives in the Westchester community and beyond.
Back to top