Key Facts

Holding Organisation Austrian Federation of Allotment Gardeners Status Financing Austrian Federation of Allotment Gardeners People involved in the project Public Partners None Private Partners None Creation Date April 2004 Sources & Links Contact Persons

1. Title/name of the project/Action

Cooperation between the Austrian Federation of Allotment Gardeners and the association KoMit

2. Summary

KoMit provides work and activities for people with mental and/or multiple disabilities. The Austrian Federation provided land and - together with some partners - all necessary infrastructure so that the disabled looked after by KoMit have a piece of land where they can cultivate plants for therapy-purposes.

3. The idea

The idea of the project is to give mentally and/or multiple disabled people the possibility to work in and with nature for therapeutic reasons. For these people it is a fulfilling experience to see how plants grow and how they have to be cultivated.

4. The local context

The reason to locate the therapy-garden in the 21st district of Vienna was that the Austrian Federation of Allotment Gardeners has an allotment site there with enough free space to cultivate vegetables and fruit and to build a house for the clients.

5. The starting point

The project startet when KoMit by asked our Federation to provide some cheap land for therapy reasons. The Austrian Federation then decided to help and started to look for an adequate location. After the place was found we had to check whether it was possible to build a small house there because the dedication of the ground would usually not have allowed any bulidings. We managed to get a special authorisation. After that we asked some longtime partners for support. All the firms provided their menpower free of charge as well as the necessary material. Moreover, some volunteers also helped. Naturally, the Austrian Federation also supported the project with money and menpower.

6. How does it work?

The success was guaranteed because the Austrian Federation had the financial resources to provide all infrastructures without any help from others.

7. Participation and Governance

Nowadays the actors are KoMit and the Austrian Federation of Allotment Gardeners. The Austrian Federation provides the land and pays the lease for the ground where the therapy-garden is located. KoMit provides the plants and takes care of the garden. The management is up to KoMit.

8. Added value of the project

Besides the benefits for the disabled people there is another added value of the project i.e. that the other inhabitants of the allotment garden site loose their fear of contact with mentally disabled people.

9. Challenges/Risks/Inertias

The main difficulty was to get the building permission on a ground where building houses is usually prohibited.

10. Future perspectives

We would like the project to go on for many further years because we do see the value of it for the disabled people gardening with the help of KoMit on our allotment site.

11. Proposals for change

Because all the work was done and finance provided by the Austrian Federation of Allotment Gardeners and its partners it is hard to say what should be changed. Everything worked fine. Especially in respect that it was the first project the Austrian Federation has done in this area.