Heroic Gardens: Planting Seeds of Hope for Veterans with Collie Turner
Untold Valor: Veterans Recovery in Action
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Untold Valor: Veterans Recovery in Action
Heroic Gardens: Planting Seeds of Hope for Veterans with Collie Turner
Apr 04, 2024
Voice & Vision, Inc. & CompeerCORPS

Collie Turner is the founder and executive director of Heroic Gardens. This organization has been transforming the lives of veterans through the healing power of plants and nature since 2018. She’s here to share more about the origins of Heroic Gardens, inspired by her familial legacy of military service and a deep-rooted connection to gardening.

Stay tuned to learn how gardening offers healing benefits, including physical rehabilitation, mental health support, and stress reduction for veterans. We’ll also learn about Heroic Gardens' initiatives, including their award-winning Mission: Windowsill program, and their land transformation projects that have revitalized neighborhoods and fostered a sense of pride and ownership among veterans and their communities. 

Here’s some of what we discuss in this episode:

0:00 - Intro
1:35 – Collie’s background + family's military history
4:10 – The power of gardening for veterans + community impact
7:53 – How Heroic Gardens operates and engages with veterans
11:31 – The Mission: Windowsill program
13:19 – How to get involved as a veteran or volunteer


Founder and Executive Director of the Veteran Service Organization Heroic Gardens in the Philadelphia region. Since 2018, the nonprofit has helped veterans and their families experience the healing power of plants and nature.

A daughter and granddaughter of veterans and organic gardeners, Collie has always had a deep-rooted connection to her local veteran community and the plant world. Forming this organization has helped bring attention to plants' important role in our mental and physical health.

Heroic Gardens was named the 2021 Outstanding Programming Recipient from the Mid-Atlantic Horticultural Therapy Network. In 2022, it received a Commendation from the Department of Veterans Affairs for its Mission: Windowsill program; one of the top 5 programs in the country recognized in partnership with the VA.

In 2023, the organization assisted over 700 Veterans, had over 280 volunteers, and led over 80 classes helping Veterans connect with plants as an alternative healing therapy. Not everything has to be treated with a pill!


Heroic Gardens







Need immediate help? Contact the Veterans Crisis Line via phone, text or online chat. Dial 988 then Press 1 or text 838255 or use the online chat at https://bit.ly/3OunXzg

Voice & Vision: https://bit.ly/3miwFoy

CompeerCORPS: https://bit.ly/3GgKryU

Information on how to apply for VA Healthcare Benefits from anywhere in the USA: https://bit.ly/40PtrrN or call 877-222-8387 (M-F 8am-8pm EST)

To apply for veteran’s benefits and find resources in Pennsylvania veterans need to contact their County Office of Veterans Affairs as listed in this document: https://bit.ly/3m8PBWS

View more about PA’s resources for veterans:  https://bit.ly/416cf0Q

Financial support for Untold Valor is provided by a Veterans’ Trust Fund grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.