Charles River Center

Needham, MA

Mission: The Charles River Center is a nonprofit human service agency with offices in Needham and Natick, Massachusetts, providing employment and job training, residential homes, day habilitation, and recreational programs for children and adults with Down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy and other developmental disabilities.

Description: The Horticulture Program at the Charles River Center is an innovative program that educates adults with developmental disabilities and autism to grow and tend produce and flowers. care for farm animals, and interact with the natural environment. 

The Charles River Center’s Horticulture Program also partners with Needham Community Farm in a once-a-week Mobile Market that brings fresh, local produce to low-income, food-insecure neighborhoods in Needham and educates adults with developmental disabilities and autism about growing organic produce.

The Horticulture Program at the Charles River Center also runs a Flower CSA, a partnership between them and the Needham Community Farm, providing paid employment for individuals with developmental disabilities.