Advocates that help victims of child abuse are in the process of planning the first-of-its-kind healing garden in Lackawanna County.
The project is expected to cost roughly $20,000 in all.
The effort got a boost Wednesday morning from Lackawanna County commissioners who pledged $5,000 towards the project.
The empty land where the county’s first “Healing Garden” will be located doesn’t look like much right now.
Located directly behind the Teen Advocacy Center on Wheeler Avenue in Scranton’s Hill Section, officials expect the healing garden for child abuse victims to be a quiet, peaceful place where kids can begin the healing process.
“It’s going to be very private with different areas for reflecting, for mediation,” Jess Farrell, Development Coordinator with the Children’s Advocacy Center said. “There’s going to be a butterfly garden included.”
The project is the brainchild of workers at the Children’s Advocacy Center of northeastern Pennsylvania.
Since opening its doors in 1998, the facility has helped more than 11,000 kids deal with sexual and/or physical abuse.
“Our numbers are increasing exponentially and unfortunately child abuse is out there but more people are aware of it,” Children’s Advocacy Center Associate Director Jennifer Aglialoro said.
The project will be getting a big helping hand from this year’s Leadership Lackawanna class. The class has adopted this project as one of the things it wants to concentrate time and fundraising on.
While the Children’s Advocacy Center has two facilities to help kids and teens, they know children like to be outside and when they have to disclose traumatic events that have happened to them, it is often difficult.
“Healing Gardens” like the one that is planned in Scranton have popped-up in other parts of the country and have been successful.
“It’s a very stressful time for them so we’re going to be using this space to help them decompress, help them just relax a little bit,” Aglialoro said.
If all goes according to plan, workers at the Children’s Advocacy Center in Scranton hope to have the new healing garden completed in the spring.