Connections - 08.31.23

Cultivating Innovation: How Threshold Residential Services Leveraged a Special Needs Pooled Trust

Share this page
In Partnership with

Like most I/DD providers, Threshold Residential Services’ goal is to enhance the lives of people with developmental disabilities and their families by offering individual-specific services, developing community engagement and promoting community inclusion.

One way they are fulfilling that purpose is through the creation of a community sensory garden that provides a safe and relaxing space used by their residents. Inclusivity is a foundational element for this beautiful and interactive garden as it inspires and brings the community together to create a space that can be enjoyed by all.

Chris Page, CEO at Threshold Residential Services and trustee of its special needs pooled trust, authorized a distribution of $2,710 from the trust’s remainder account to use in the creation of the garden that would be used by the agency’s residents and establish opportunities for community inclusion and interactions.

Residents benefit from the garden’s interactive elements, which can activate various areas of the brain and create new neurological pathways. The garden’s overall experience helps to boost cognitive function, improves motor skills and provides life-long environmental education.

Working alongside Threshold Residential Services’ residents and staff, the community has helped in many ways from the initial creation to the on-going maintenance of the sensory garden. Since the garden’s opening in May 2022, community efforts could be seen around East Palestine such as the Aktion Club and ServeOhio making beautiful bench seating, the East Palestine’s 5th grade elementary class gardening in 2022 and again in 2023, to local youth raising funds thru the sale of lemonade and lemon snow cones.

Threshold Residential Services’ recent social media post sent out an inviting invitation to all, “The flowers are in bloom and the edibles are coming on strong! Stop by the Community Sensory Garden to enjoy the wonderful space and help yourselves to the edibles as they become ripe!”

Arlington Heritage Group, special needs pooled trust administrator, is incredibly proud of the small part played at the inception of this wonderful sensory garden project.