Frontline Gardens is helping veterans, law enforcement officers, and Gold Star families experiencing post-traumatic stress heal through gardening, according to Knox News. The nonprofit, which was started in 2020 by a veteran, aims to help relieve wounded veterans, law enforcement officers, and Gold Star families of their burdens by helping them discover the therapeutic values of gardening, including physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual healing. With every garden built for the unique needs and preferences of each recipient, Frontline Gardens is equipped to provide the resources they need thanks to the generosity of donors.
In order to receive a garden, veterans and first responders submit an application for review. Upon acceptance, the veteran receives a home visit from Frontline Gardens where they assess the yard to determine the garden that will be built for them. With the compassion and generosity of donors, Frontline Gardens provides the food, compost, and materials for construction, and the garden is built by volunteers.
Frontline Gardens began as an idea by Stephanie Trost from her husband Capt. Michael Trost, a U.S. Army veteran who served for 32 years and was seriously injured in combat which forced him to receive 35 surgeries at Walter Reed Hospital. In 2016, he had his leg amputated due to severe sciatic nerve pain that was “destroying his life.” Soon after, Trost shared with his wife Stephanie that he wanted a farm, and they went ahead and built one that has grown to 50 acres. Stephanie shared that she could see the “transformation” once they started, noting that she saw his “emotional, physical, and spiritual healing,” and wanted to offer the opportunity to other veterans.
From veterans to frontline workers and Gold Star families, Frontline Gardens is bringing peace, comfort, and healing to them through having their own gardens to take care of in their very own yards. With over twenty veterans and frontline workers served, and over 197 volunteers, Frontline Gardens continues to make a difference in the lives of those they help and those who volunteer as they learn the stories of our nation’s heroes.