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Nature Provides Safe Haven for Young Teens

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SCRANTON -- A plan that's been in the works since September finally came to life at the Children's Advocacy Center of NEPA Teen Center on Wheeler Avenue in Scranton.

Friday was the groundbreaking of the center's healing and transformation garden.

“This garden I think will allow them to understand that they do have the support that they need and there are people in this community who do care about what happens to them and do care about the future of this community and hope that we don't have these types of issues in the future,” said Katlin Edmunds of Leadership Lackawanna.

The project, titled "Planting a Promise," will benefit children and teens who have been abused or neglected.

The garden will serve has a healing space and help visitors work through daily struggles.

“I think the potential for this space, this earthy space, that they can call their own teenage venue. Their own teenage space will be very warm and inviting,” said Mary Ann Laporta of the Children’s Advocacy Center.

The hope is to have the garden completed by June and that's when the empty lot will transform into six different reflection areas. Organizers we spoke to hope the garden will act as a safe haven for those who use it.

The garden will also feature a fire pit, hammocks, swings, sandboxes and a picnic area. The majority of the garden was paid for by community donations.

Organizers tell us they are grateful for how supportive the community has been.

“I think it's wonderful. I think the community is willing to rally behind something they have never been a part of necessarily is an amazing tribute to the Scranton area and just the people in this area who are willing to help other people,” said Paula Eckert of Leadership Lackawanna.