HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital announced today that it is partnering with Eisenhower High School and Richland Community College to form a dual credit program focusing on horticulture. This program extends the opportunity for students in Decatur to receive dual credit in a vocational trade. 

This program will utilize Mary’s Garden that has been on the hospital’s campus for the last few years. Mary’s Garden recently became a community supported agriculture (CSA) program, which means colleagues are able buy into Mary’s Garden and receive weekly or bi-weekly baskets of fruits and vegetables.

Eisenhower’s interest in starting a dual credit horticulture class coupled with St. Mary’s goal to improve community health made this partnership a great match.

“Mary’s Garden is one of our community benefit initiatives developed in response to an identified need. The garden’s mission is to improve community health and food accessibility for those in need and teach a younger generation sustainable gardening,” said Joan Coffman, president and CEO of St. Mary’s Hospital. “This garden will provide the Eisenhower students a living classroom to learn more about urban farming.”

The garden is a collaborative between St. Mary’s Hospital, Mercy Gardens and Good Samaritan Inn. It also offers educational opportunities for Mercy Garden apprentices to improve competencies and confidence in urban farming.

Media Contact

Andrew Dilbeck


HSHS Illinois
Office: 217-464-5610
Andrew.Dilbeck@hshs.org

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