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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Julie L. Jones

Florida Department of Corrections
Julie L. Jones, Secretary

Press Release
September 10, 2015
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Contact: Communications
(850) 488-0420

Highlands Today: Prison nursery program continues to grow

Published September 10, 2015

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AVON PARK — In the early 1960s, a nursery program was established at Avon Park Correctional Institution. The original purpose was to keep older inmates busy and supply plants for the grounds surrounding the prison.

In the last several years the nursery has flourished thanks to the leadership of Officer Tommy Sauls with the help of Florida Federation of Garden Clubs…

“Therapy Thru Plants is a teaching tool,” Sauls said, “a tool that provides physical fitness, emotional fitness and spiritual fitness as well.”

The men working the nursery learn to propagate plants, pot them, make their own mulch, build greenhouses and provide the upkeep of the grounds on Parrish Island.

Several inmates will attend a special ceremony Oct. 1 in which they will receive certificates from the Florida Nursery Growers and Landscaping Association.

The nursery’s annual Fall Plant Sale will take place 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 26 at APCI.


The fall sale has grown so much in the past few years that you are advised to get there early for a good selection…


As Florida's largest state agency, the Department of Corrections employs more than 23,000 members statewide, incarcerates more than 100,000 inmates and supervises nearly 140,000 offenders in the community.

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