Hattie's Gardens Blossoms at Old Trail School

It couldn’t have been a better day for Hattie Larlham and Old Trail School to unveil the new Hattie’s Gardens location on the school’s campus. More than 100 guests saw firsthand the impact their generous support has in creating community growth. Hattie’s Gardens will expand employment for people with developmental disabilities, educate Old Trail School students on sustainable gardening and distribute produce grown to local businesses.

“Hattie’s Gardens helps employees with developmental disabilities achieve their full potential,” said Dennis Allen, CEO of Hattie Larlham. “We teach vocational skills and create opportunities for people with disabilities to engage with their communities.”

Today Hattie Larlham vocational programs employ more than 250 people with developmental disabilities. Employees are able to build friendships, confidence and feel a sense of achievement in a safe and encouraging environment.

Hattie's Gardens is a sustainable garden that grows chemical-free produce. The Hattie’s Gardens planted on the Old Trail School Campus is the second location in Bath, Ohio. Hattie Larlham planted its first Hattie’s Gardens location at Crown Point Ecology Center in 2011.

Hattie’s Gardens at Old Trail School is a collaboration that began three years ago with Hattie Larlham, Old Trail School, and the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Hattie Larlham CEO Dennis Allen approached Cuyahoga Valley National Park Superintendent Stan Austin with a vision to plant a garden in the national park. Austin connected Allen with the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park CEO Deb Yandala, who introduced Allen to Old Trail School Head of School John Farber to bring this vision to life.

“This is a culmination of a dream,” John Farber said. “It [Hattie’s Gardens] is going to become an elaborate part of our curriculum at Old Trail School, and kids are going to have all kinds of opportunities to take working on a farm and applying it to the classroom.” The students will work directly with the Hattie Larlham staff to learn about sustainable gardening and healthy eating with the produce grown incorporated into school lunches. Hattie’s Gardens will compost food scraps from the Old Trail School dining room for use in the gardens, forming a sustainable loop.

Dignitaries in attendance were Hattie Larlham CEO Dennis Allen, Old Trail School Head of School John Farber, Hattie Larlham Board of Directors President Mike Weinhardt, Summit County Board Executive Russ M. Pry, Cuyahoga Valley National Park Superintendent Stan Austin, County of Summit Developmental Disabilities Board Senior Director of Board Services and Supports Bill Payne, and the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park CEO Deb Yandala.

Hattie’s Gardens was funded by the County of Summit Developmental Disabilities Board, Mr. John L. Hinds, County of Summit Department of Community and Economic Development, The Robert O. and Annamae Orr Family Foundation, the Lehner Family Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas M. Orr, and the Maynard Family Foundation.

By purchasing produce from Hattie’s Gardens and local restaurants that use the program’s produce, you can support people with developmental disabilities. To make a donation benefiting the program, contact Hattie Larlham Vice President of Development Catherine Schwartz at (330) 274-2272, ext. 3457, or visit

About Hattie Larlham

Established in 1961, Hattie Larlham is a nonprofit organization that provides services to 1,500 children and adults with developmental disabilities. Hattie Larlham inspires people with disabilities and their families to dream and achieve through the medical, vocational and recreational services the organization offers. For more information, visit

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Jacqueline LoPresti
Communications Coordinator       
Hattie Larlham
330-274-2272, ext. 3011


Scott Juba    
Radar Public Relations & Consulting