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Gardening to help the community

It started as a hobby, now it’s a business.
Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 4:39 PM EDT
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MENOMINEE, Mich. (WLUC) - For Lou Anne Bates, owner of Raven Wood Gardens, getting outside and gardening is more than just a hobby. She says it helped her through some tough challenges.

“Whenever I could get outside, I felt good about doing something and it was the one thing I was good at. So, I felt like I wanted to share that once I got the chance to get myself back on my feet,” said Bates.

Lou Anne’s husband is a veteran with anxiety and PTSD. When she saw how gardening helped her and her husband, the couple opened Raven Wood Gardens – a place for people to get back to nature through garden therapy.

“If you’re outside and breathing fresh air and you’re soaking up the sun, getting vitamin D, doing something productive, it makes you feel really good,” said Bates.

There are several different areas throughout the property for gardening, a meditation spot and a gift shop.

“We try to support local artists and promote veterans,” said Bates.

The Bates also work with Hives for Heroes, an organization helping connect veterans to nature through beekeeping.

People interested in visiting Raven Wood Gardens are asked to make an appointment before showing up.

“It is a secure gated place, so everything is by appointment or if we do an event, it’s by invitation,” said Bates.

The couple is thankful for everyone who has helped with the gardens and looks forward to continuing using their story to reach more of the veteran community.

“I can see that the mess that we made turned into a message,” said Bates.

Click here to learn more about Raven Wood Gardens or you can call at (715) 923-9362.

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