LANSING, Mich. — A garden of 90 lavender plants sits right on Saginaw Street across from Sparrow St. Lawrence Hospital.
This is where a Lansing business owner, who found lavender as a way to soothe her own struggles with anxiety and depression, is hoping to use the sweet-smelling plant to help others who are struggling.
“My goal here is really to develop a community that offers a solution for that problem, builds community, and gives people a resource to help them,” said Megan Church, founder of Urban Lavender.
Urban Lavender sells lavender-based products handmade by Church herself.
But after acquiring land from the Ingham County Land Bank in March, Church is working to expand the business to support individuals with mental health struggles.
In addition to the lavender plants, Church is planning a children’s community garden, expressive art classes and a small, intimate wedding location for the property.
Therapeutic art classes will offer individuals who have experienced trauma the chance to connect and heal. Church said she does not want people to feel alone.
“There's a community here that's willing to help (people) and talk to them about what they're going through,” Church said.
She chose the garden’s location very intentionally.
“It's right here in downtown,” Church said. “I really want it to be a symbol that it's not a mental health issue, it's mental self care. And to have it right on Saginaw, as a big staple that people regularly will be driving by and seeing... I think it is a huge accomplishment for us.”
The lavender gardens are also right across the street from Sparrow St. Lawrence's hospice unit.
“I just like the idea of people in hospice being able to look out over the field and just have something nice to look at,” Church said.
Church said she hopes to launch the art therapy portion of her business by the end of the year.
To learn more, visit Urban Lavender’s website at thelavenderhouse.us. The business can be found on Instagram and Facebook @Urban.Lavender517.