Community Gardens

Hospital Staff Community Garden


This space provides physical, mental, and emotional nourishment through the food that’s grown and the relationships formed with fellow gardeners and the land. It is a large area with individual plots for employees to grow their own vegetables at low cost, plus a training workshop for first-time gardeners. The garden provides a rare opportunity to grow vegetables for your family, friends, and employees across the street from where you work!

Gardening is good exercise, it’s a chance to meet and get to know fellow St. Joe’s Hospital gardeners, and it can add more delicious variety of vegetables to your plate. Come join us!

Grow Your Own Food at The Farm at St. Joe’s

Have you always wanted to try your hand at growing a vegetable garden? Or, maybe you’re an expert gardener, but your yard is too shady? Then join with fellow St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Ann Arbor staff and retirees at the Staff Community Garden at The Farm at St. Joe’s!

Garden plots are available on a first-come, first-served basis in the spring. There is a fee to cover the use of the plot for the summer, which covers compost, water, pathway, and fence maintenance. First year gardeners are required to pay a refundable deposit. There is a workday to prepare plots and add compost– see below.

Details for 2020:

Standard plot: 10′ x 10′  or 10′ x 9′  The cost is $15 plus a refundable deposit of $15 (total $30).

Medium plot: 10′ x 12′  The cost is $20 plus a refundable deposit of $25 (total $45).

Large plot: 10′ x 15′  The cost is $25 plus a refundable deposit of $35 (total $60). We ask that experienced gardeners or groups of people who are committed to maintaining their plot sign-up for this size.

Nothing beats the taste of garden grown tomatoes!

Signing up for 2020: You may sign-up as an individual or as a group. If you are a group, we ask that one person registers and pays for the plot.

  • First come, first served: Registration will open in the spring
  • There are a limited number of plots.
  • One plot per person/group.
  • Note: Gardeners must be staff or retirees who work(ed) at Saint Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor at the time of signing-up.
  • To register, contact the Garden Coordinator: Rozelle Copeland 
  • If space is available, you will then be asked to provide:
    • Payment for the plot
    • Deposit (if new to the garden)
    • A signed Garden Plot Rental Agreement with signed liability waivers for all ‘helpers’

Deposit:  First year gardeners are required to pay a refundable deposit. Checks should be made out to “St. Joseph Mercy Hospital”.

The deposit and a signed Employee Community Garden Contract (see below) will be collected at the required workday – which will be announced when plot assignments are confirmed.

Gardening Workshop – Gardening 101:   


This class is for the new gardener who is looking for information on how to get started. Rozelle Copeland, the Garden Coordinator, will cover a variety of topics including:

  • what to expect
  • figuring out what and how much to plant
  • how to plant
  • heirloom vs. hybrid
  • tips for tomatoes

Location of the Staff Community Garden:

The Farm at St. Joe’s 5557 McAuley Dr., Ypsilanti, MI

Staff Community Garden in early spring

Opening: This depends on the weather and our ability to prep the soil. Dates typically range from the last week of April to mid-May.

Closing: Gardens must be cleaned up by Nov 15th.

Here is the Employee Community Garden Contract for 2020:

Garden Plot Rental Agreement

For more information or if you have questions please contact the Community Garden Coordinator: Rozelle Copeland (


Growing Compassion Garden

Cosmos dancing in the breeze – Compassion Garden 2019

Growing Compassion is a program that brings a joyful and beautiful dose of nature into the hospital through the gift of flowers. This is an employee-run project to give flowers to patients who are alone and in need. Flowers are grown by staff, picked by staff, and delivered by staff to designated areas all throughout the hospital.

Volunteers grow the flowers at The Farm at St. Joe’s, design bouquets utilizing recycled jars collected from employees, and then deliver this floral gift that enhances our remarkable care with remarkable compassion. This program provides a healing presence within our hospital and to those with the most need.

This program is in it’s 4th year and our goal is to get more staff volunteers interested in supporting the program so that it can be expanded and eventually include some direct patient deliveries.

Volunteers are needed for the following:

  • Pick and deliver flowers weekly to a designated patient location
  • Plant flowers in the Spring and later in Summer
  • Water and weed the flower beds at The Farm

It’s a commitment but the amount of time can be small or large depending upon the task. Current volunteers say it’s rewarding to see how fresh picked flowers affect visitors, patients, and employees alike.

If interested, please contact:

Community Garden Coordinator: Rozelle Copeland

Strawflowers 2019