Download printer-friendly version: Click here

Initiative at Brick, N.J., Skilled Nursing Facility Brings Nature Indoors  

BRICK, N.J. (Feb. 8, 2023) – Residents at Willow Springs Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center in Brick Township are embracing their inner green thumbs thanks to the skilled nursing facility’s new partnership with Eldergrow. The Seattle-based company brings nature indoors with mobile gardening programs designed to promote hands-on enjoyment and learning. 

At Willow Springs, Eldergrow’s Therapeutic Horticulture Garden program combines a sensory garden full of colorful and fragrant plants with in-person enrichment classes. The bi-monthly classes – on topics ranging from horticulture, to culinary, to garden arts – are facilitated by Eldergrow educators, who also assist with garden maintenance.  

“Many Willow Springs residents have a lifelong love of gardening and are now delighting in the opportunity to spend time enjoying the mobile garden and participating in the therapeutic horticulture classes,” said Pam Montemurno, regional director of market development at Marquis Health Consulting Services, which supports Willow Springs and was instrumental in facilitating the Eldergrow partnership. “Eldergrow is a perfect example of how life enrichment activities can promote both wellness and fun.” 

Therapeutic horticulture is shown to offer significant mental and physical health benefits for seniors, including reducing depression and improving balance, among numerous others. In a study, published in the International Journal of Environmental Health, scientists reported planting and cultivating a garden can “improve brain nerve growth factors related to memory, and can improve functioning in the hippocampus, which is critical for memory, and cortical regions of the brain.”  

“We are thrilled to partner with Willow Springs for this new program,” said Eldergrow’s Orla Concannon, founder and CEO. “Therapeutic horticulture supports Willow Springs’ focus on programming aimed at boosting physical and mental wellness for residents by bringing nature – and its many benefits – indoors all year long.”  

Willow Springs’ reputation for quality care and services is well established. The facility was recently named one of the nation’s top skilled nursing facilities in Newsweek’s “America’s Best Nursing Homes 2023” and maintains a five-star rating for quality measures from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). More information can be found at    

Founded in 2015, Eldergrow enhances the quality of life for older adults by creating meaningful connections to nature. In addition to its Therapeutic Horticulture Garden program for skilled nursing centers, it offers a DIY Culinary Herb Garden for assisted living communities, with fresh herb deliveries and engaging “Around the World” programming. Both programs are centered around Eldergrow’s indoor, mobile gardens which are beautifully handcrafted in the U.S.A.  

Brick-based Marquis Health Consulting Services provides administrative and consulting services to skilled nursing facilities and senior housing communities along the Eastern Seaboard. The organization’s operational guidance enables its client facilities to overachieve their quality and customer service goals by embracing a progressive, multi-specialty approach to healthcare.   

PHOTO CAPTION (L-R): Willow Springs’ Vittori Baccari, life enrichment director, and Eldergrow’s Nick Neve, educator, with Willow Springs resident Colleen Phillips (seated) at the center’s Eldergrow launch party.  


Willow Springs Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center 
1049 Burnt Tavern Road, Brick, NJ 08724       

Follow Willow Springs Home on Facebook        

Media Contact:           
Sandy Crisafulli / Emma Ackel         
Caryl Communications          
201-796-7788  /