Oklahoma Non-Profit opens 2 ephemeral garden centers

Green Country nonprofit that employs people with disabilities opens two pop-up garden centers; this fall is a growing season for A New Leaf.

A New Leaf said these pop-up shops offer more than a chance to stock up on seasonal plants and fresh fall vegetables. The organization said it was a growth opportunity by providing a few more jobs for an often overlooked population. Maranda Figueroa of A New Leaf said adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities have an unemployment rate of 83%.

“Once they graduate and leave the public school system, the resources available to them are drastically reduced,” said Maranda Figueroa, director of development.

That’s why A New Leaf’s mission is to help as many of them as possible. The two pop-up fall garden centers are located in Owasso, in the Battle Creek Church parking lot and in the Jenks ReStore parking lot. Figueroa said half of the organization’s clients have no family to return home to. She said it is important that they work for independence.

“They learn math at the checkout. They learn customer service. They learn social skills,” Figueroa said. “It is really important for us to meet each individual exactly where they are.”

These fall garden centers are open until November 14.