Delaware Center for Horticulture helps ex-offenders start over

When Michael Moore was released from prison after serving time for selling drugs, he realized that it was time to make a change in his life. 

With the help and guidance of the Delaware Center for Horticulture, Moore enrolled in a post-release program in public landscaping, which included job training for gardening, park maintenance and basic knowledge of planting. He completed the program in 2014.

“I was encouraged to apply and I gave it a shot,” said Moore, who was approached about the program following his four-year prison term. “I ended up getting hired on their staff after the program because I was willing to learn.”

The program helped him stay grounded, said Moore, who recently got pardoned for all of his charges with the help of the organization. 

The center hired Moore in February 2014, and he spent seven years working as a landscape foreman and supervisor. Through that experience, he saw how caring for plants brought him joy.

“I love the plants and learning their differences, tending to them, putting them in the right place and finding out the reason why they wouldn’t grow — it’s like a religion … there is just so much to learn,” Moore said.

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