(above photo from GGWNY website)

Gardening is a method for coping with grief. 

This month (March)  Grassroots Gardens of Western New York ( GGWNY) and the Wilson Support Center will offer their third  They That Sow in Tears workshop on gardening through grief. Open  to homicide loss survivors,  registration for this free,two-part workshop on Zoom is now open.

In 2019  Grassroots Gardens developed a therapeutic gardening initiative to explore how community gardens can be sites for strengthening community wellness and resilience. They have since partnered with Hospice & Palliative Care’s Wilson Support Center , along with Ms. Gerldine Wilson, a longtime Grassroots Gardener and founder of the Victoria Avenue Community Garden, to provide a supportive workshop called They That Sow in Tears. The workshop is open to adults who have experienced loss and are searching for healthy ways to cope with their grief. 

Originally offered in a community garden setting, the workshops are now being held on Zoom due to the COVID19 pandemic.

“We’re bringing the garden to people now. We’re giving them plants of their request that remind them of their loved one. We also make stepping stones together to mark the life of their loved one, and we provide an opportunity to be together in community to acknowledge our losses and to turn to the garden as a place to put our grief, ” said Jeanette Koncikowski, Executive Director of Grassroots Gardens. 

Gerldine Wilson, founder of the Victoria Avenue Community Garden, co-facilitator of the program, and herself a homicide loss survivor, shares, “The journaling we do offers a safe place to put the priceless….I have experienced a lot of loss to homicide….my father was murdered…my brother was murdered…my grandson’s father was murdered. I feel the gripping pain a community feels each time shots ring out. I know the feelings of shock, confusion, anger, isolation that can grip you. These workshops allow a way to not only grieve, but to keep their memories alive. They are not meant to be a counseling session. It’s an opportunity to have more tools to help through moments of grief.”

The workshop for homicide loss survivors will be held in a two-part format on Thursday, March 11th and Thursday, March 25th from 6-8PM on Zoom. There is no cost for participation or materials but participants must commit to attending both sessions. Materials and a resource packet will be delivered to participants prior to the workshop.    

Grassroots Gardens of Western New York Grassroots Gardens of Western New York is a dedicated group of community gardeners and activists. Our mission is to share knowledge, power, and resources to grow healthy food, heal systemic harm, and strengthen neighborhood connections through community gardens. 

We collaboratively cultivate and manage more than one million square feet (and growing!) of urban green space. There are over 100 community and school gardens in Buffalo and Niagara Falls registered with our network in 2021. City residents in Buffalo and Niagara Falls are always welcome to join a community garden to grow free, fresh food or to grow their health and wellness.

The agency also offers free gardening workshops throughout the spring season. For more information to or to register visit us online at or contact our Executive Director, Jeanette Koncikowski, at 716-783-9653.