This garden provides therapeutic programs for people with disabilities and is also open to the public whenever the nursery is open (Monday-Friday 9am–3pm and Saturday 8.30am-12.30pm). Visitors are welcome but are asked to report to the Main Office upon arrival.
Inspired by a visit to a garden for children with disabilities in the UK, the late Kevin Heinze believed that all people should be given the opportunity to take part in gardening activities. He saw the benefits that horticulture-based therapy and recreation programs brought to people with disabilities and wanted to introduce the concept into Australia. Working with the Kiwanis Club of Doncaster and Templestowe volunteers, he raised the seed funds required and, with the help of Manningham Council, secured a lease on some land, where the Centre opened in 1979 and continues to be located today.
Kevin Heinze GROW operates a number of initiatives including: NDIS GROW On (its ‘core program’), GROW ON Transition (for secondary school students); Grow Well (for children who have experienced trauma); CHSP (a Commonwealth Home Support Program for older people with an interest in social and recreational gardening); Grow on the Go Gardening Services (services to the local community for garden maintenance).
The garden hosts two major plant sales each year, in April and October.