Vandals Destroy Autism Sensory Garden

Roses for Autism

Since 2015, Roses for Autism has worked to create a public sensory garden at their Guilford-based farm for the entire community to enjoy. The nonprofit organization raised nearly $12,000 in monetary and supply donations. Volunteers devoted well over 1,000 hours to build the garden. The project brought the community together and has been a labor of love for everyone involved. Now with just a few weeks until the official ribbon cutting ceremony, vandals have destroyed their beautiful dream.

Michelle Ouimette, Managing Director of Roses for Autism said, “On June 1, 2017, the Roses for Autism crew purchased two large outdoor roses bushes, five gerbera daisy plants and grass seed.  We set the items in the sensory garden overnight.  The next morning, upon arrival to work, we discovered that all of the items were stolen. Our trellis was also broken.  We immediately contacted the Guilford Police who seemed just as upset as we were.  With our ribbon cutting community event approaching, we were not sure how we would be able to replace the plants before June 24th.  Later that evening, the responding officer came back to Roses for Autism with an array of beautiful plants.  He said that he and his fellow officers pooled their money to buy us these plants.  We immediately planted the plants and were once again excited for our event. But on the morning of June 12, upon arrival to Roses for Autism, we discovered that the vandals had returned sometime on Sunday, when we are closed, and dug up our lilies, rhododendrons, yucca plants and other flowers.  In addition, they stole our garden statues and lawn ornaments.”

Ouimette adds “we are devastated. The sensory garden was going to be one-of-a-kind on the Connecticut shoreline; a place where families could come and experience its therapeutic effects, a place where there was a sense of belonging without judgment, a place of quiet reflection.”

A sensory garden is specifically organized into different garden beds that are dedicated to inspiring the different senses. The garden can be both therapeutic and educational for a variety of individuals, particularly those with disabilities whose sensory responses are impacted.

In addition to appealing to the five senses of sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing, the garden also addresses the vestibular and proprioception senses.

The vestibular nerve is the part of the auditory nerve in the inner ear that carries sensory information related to body equilibrium, balance. Disorders that interfere with that connection include vertigo and Meniere’s.

Proprioception is the neurological ability of the body to sense movement and position. For example you know your arm is at your side even if your eyes are closed. The sense of proprioception is disturbed by many neurological disorders. It can sometimes be improved through the use of sensory integration.

“The vandals don’t realize the ripple effects of their actions,” explained Ouimette. “The hardest part is trying to explain to our supporters why this has happened twice in the last ten days thus forcing us to cancel our ribbon cutting event until we are able to rebuild.”

In order to help purchase new plants, flowers and materials, a Go Fund Me page has been created to support the Roses for Autism sensory garden. Visit



Bristol Roundup is a popular source for Bristol Connecticut news, events and information. The Roundup, started by Bristol resident Mike Uchalid currently has over 5,300 subscriptions and a local social media following of over 30,000 readers across multiple sites, pages and groups. The Roundup provides accurate information, events, news and so much more. We hope you enjoy the site!


‘Curious sinking:’ Lawyers blast man whose mom lost at sea 

‘Curious sinking:’ Lawyers blast man whose mom lost at sea 

PROVIDENCE, R.I.   — Insurance company lawyers are blasting a man whose mother was lost at sea, saying he made suspicious alterations to his boat before it sank in 2016. Lawyers for Nathan Carman‘s insurance company said Monday in federal court documents that the Vermont man is refusing to cooperate as they investigate his claim for what they call the “curious” sinking of his boat. Carman’s mother, Linda, is presumed dead after his boat sank during a fishing trip they took out of Rhode […]

Virginia man who did not disclose HIV status to sex partners found dead

Virginia man who did not disclose HIV status to sex partners found dead

BALTIMORE – A Virginia man previously convicted of reckless endangerment for not disclosing his positive HIV status to his sexual partners, has died, according to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore, Maryland. Daniel Cleaves was found dead at about 2 p.m. on September 18 after officers were called to the 2400 block of West Lexington Street, according to a Baltimore Police spokesperson. “Once at the location, officers located an adult male laying unresponsive. The male had no […]

Help for Puerto Rico comes from Main St. New Britain

Help for Puerto Rico comes from Main St. New Britain

NEW BRITAIN — Hurricane Maria has left Puerto Rico paralyzed but there is help at home — right on Main Street in New Britain. On Monday, the entrance to City Hall was full of supplies bound for Puerto Rico. Mayor Erin Stewart, the Puerto Rican Society of New Britain, and community members all gathered the goods to help relief efforts for the island hit so hard by the category 4 storm.  “We have a large Puerto Rican population here and […]

Rhode Island has the highest murder rate in New England; CT declines

Rhode Island has the highest murder rate in New England; CT declines

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Rhode Island has the highest murder rate in New England. That’s according to new FBI crime statistics that found there were 29 murders in Rhode Island in 2016. Despite a slight decline from 2015, the state still had a murder rate of 2.7 per 100,000. That gave Rhode Island the highest murder rate in the region. Massachusetts had the most murders in New England last year with 134 killings, but a rate of 2 per 100,000. The […]


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s