UVM Medical Center

Gardening for Health program to launch at The University of Vermont Medical Center

A collaboration between UVM Medical Center Adult Primary Care, Nutrition Services and the Vermont Community Garden Network


BURLINGTON (VT) – Gardening for Health is an introductory gardening, nutrition and health education program created to cultivate patient and community health. The program connects concepts of physical activity, healthy eating and confidence building over an eight week period. Participants engage in workshops both at home and in a shared garden space at the Rooftop Garden at UVM Medical Center’s Main Campus. This pilot program is made possible through funding from The University of Vermont Medical Center Foundation.

Gardening for Health aims to teach people how to grow their own food and build the skills and confidence needed to make changes in health habits, which can lead to significant improvements in long-term health outcomes. According to Dr. Michael Latreille, a primary care physician who helped design the program, “The act of gardening has demonstrated positive impacts on health in many domains, with improvements in habits such as healthy eating and regular exercise, better mood and higher performance on measures of physical function. We hope to connect patients to this elemental activity and all of its health benefits, while also educating them on tools to help empower positive change and prevent disease.”

Eligibility for Gardening for Health

This program is for beginner and novice gardeners. In order to be eligible for the free program, participants must be a UVM Medical Center patient with one or more of the following conditions: Pre-Diabetes, Diabetes, High Blood Pressure and/or Overweight. UVM Medical Center employees who qualify are also encouraged to participate.

Length and Timing of Program

The Gardening for Health program runs for a total of eight weeks, alternating between four workshops held at the Rooftop Garden and four at-home activities relating to lessons learned. The program begins in August with group sessions available on Tuesday evenings or Thursday mornings. Participation in each session is limited to 14 people to accommodate physical distancing. Safety protocols will be in place to protect the health of participants, staff and presenters. 

Registration Now Open

For more information or to register, please visit www.UVMHealth.org/MedCenterGardening, email HealthcareGarden [at] UVMHealth.org or call (802) 847-3833.


About the University of Vermont Medical Center

The University of Vermont Medical Center  is a 499-bed tertiary care regional referral center providing advanced care to approximately 1 million residents in Vermont and northern New York. Together with our partners at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont and the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, we are Vermont’s academic medical center. The University of Vermont Medical Center also serves as a community hospital for approximately 150,000 residents in Chittenden and Grand Isle counties. 

The University of Vermont Medical Center is a member of The University of Vermont Health Network, an integrated system established to deliver high quality academic medicine to every community we serve.

For more information visit www.UVMHealth.org/MedCenter or visit our Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and blog sites at www.UVMHealth.org/MedCenterSocialMedia.