Group beautifies Tucson while providing jobs to people with disabilities

(Source: KOLD News 13)
(Source: KOLD News 13)
Updated: Feb. 19, 2018 at 5:53 AM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Making Tucson beautiful, one plant at a time is just one of the goals of the nonprofit group, Desert Survivors. The other goal is to give meaningful employment to people with disabilities.

The organization maintains areas of the loop and just recently is working with the Downtown Tucson Partnership by working on the planters along Congress Street.

They are taking out the old dying plants and weeds and replacing them with desert native plants they grow in their nursery located at 1020 W. Starr Pass Boulevard.

The nursery is where the 40 employees all with varying degrees of developmental disabilities all start off.

As they learn the basics of weeding, irrigation, and working in the greenhouse, staff get a chance to see what they can do.

Once the staff feels like an employee is ready, they go out and work in the community along the loop or downtown.

Executive Director Karen Wilson said this is more than just planting seeds, it's planting a foundation to live a more fulfilling life.

"Some of the guys still kind of live in group home situations and what not. Their job is the most important thing to them," Wilson said. "This means so much because for some of them this is the closest they have to a normal life."

Desert Survivors is holding its spring plant sale which helps fund the nonprofit. It runs from March 6 to March 10 at the nursery.

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