project leader
Philip R
Imagine! Group Home
(North Boulder)
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the project

The Boulder SmartHome is an eight-resident group home run by Imagine!, a Colorado non-profit which serves the needs of people with physical and developmental disabilities. It was built as a fully accessible residence with adaptive technology, helping people with a range of abilities live with greater independence.

The house has an enclosed, south-facing backyard, a peaceful and sunny place. It was landscaped when the house was built and before the current residents had moved in, before the full needs and daily habits of the residents could be determined. It is not fully accessible, particularly for our residents who use wheelchairs, and has few features which might draw anyone outside.

Occasionally one of our residents will say they're going to take a break, and will sit on a small concrete patio facing the driveway and a busy main street. It's currently the only place where they can get some sun and fresh air. So, why not give them a better place to get outdoors, and turn the backyard into a fully accessible garden?

When we brought up the idea with our residents, they were very enthusiastic and had plenty of suggestions. They were particularly interested in being able to grow their own food, and wanted to eat outside on nice days. They wanted to grow flowers in all colors, watch birds, and liked the idea of planting a few varieties of fruit trees.

So with your help, we'd like to create a new garden. A patio in the center of the yard will make the space accessible to everyone, and a pergola planted with vines will provide shade on hot and sunny Colorado summer days. Around the patio the residents can grow vegetables, herbs, and flowers in raised beds. The rest of the yard will be planted with fruit trees, flowers, and native plants. The garden will be a flexible space which can be used for a variety of activities such as growing food, socializing, sensory gardening, and attracting wildlife.



the steps

1.) We'll build a concrete block patio in the central area of the yard, which will make the garden fully accessible.

2.) A pergola placed at the entrance to the garden will provide shade as well as support for vining plants.

3.) Accessible raised garden beds built around the patio will provide a place for our residents to grow vegetables, herbs, and flowers.

4.) After building compost bins we can turn organic household waste into garden soil.

5.) Two rain barrels will capture rainwater from the roof and store for use in watering the garden.

6.) In the fall or spring we'll sheet mulch approximately 1000 sq ft of the yard. Organic materials such as compost will be layered on top of the ground, creating rich, healthy topsoil.

7.) In the spring we'll plant fruit trees and other plants into this area, creating a "forest" zone with fruit trees and shrubs, native plants, and wildlife habitats.



why we're doing it

Once built the garden will be used throughout the year for a variety of therapeutic horticulture activities. Horticultural therapy uses gardening to teach skills such as coordination, memory, and problem solving, as well as provide opportunities for relaxation, exercise, and socialization. The Boulder SmartHome was built not just as a residence, but as a place where we can support our residents in learning to live with greater mobility and independence. The garden will help fulfill the mission of the home, and enhance our residents' quality of living.


Patio: $6000
Pergola: $600
Fruit trees and other plantings: $600
Raised beds: $1200
Compost bins: $60
Rain barrels: $160
Tools: $600

ioby Platform Fee  $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $277
TOTAL TO RAISE on ioby= $9,532



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This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


  • Deirdre B.
  • Mackenzie