The Rappahannock Area Community Services Board has purchased the Roxbury Farm & Garden Center to expand its support to area residents.
For nearly 50 years, RACSB has served individuals in the Greater Fredericksburg community, offering support to thousands of individuals with behavioral health or developmental concerns and their families. As new needs arise, RACSB has expanded services, programs and staff.
To meet current needs and to expand outpatient services and primary care screenings, RACSB needed more space. So, when a cherished neighbor put some land on the market, the agency’s board of directors jumped at the opportunity.
“On behalf of everyone on the Board, we are excited about the Roxbury purchase as this will allow RACSB to expand, evolve, and diversify our services,” Chairwoman Debbie Draper said.
Roxbury Farm and Garden Center, which sat on the corner of Lafayette Boulevard and Jackson Street and near RACSB’s Ronald W. Branscome Building, announced it was closing in February.
“The Farm and Garden Center has been a terrific community partner over the years, so we were sad to learn it was closing,” RACSB Executive Director Jane McDonald Yaun said. “But we also saw a chance to help more people and to better serve the public. We were fortunate to gain both the property and the garden center’s general manager, Andy Lynn, who is now running our horticulture program for adults with developmental disability.”
The new land offers an opportunity to grow RACSB’s horticulture services and to create employment for adults with disability. The community services board hopes to establish new services that are not available in the community, and Yaun has been studying programs across the country. The agency’s administration could also move out of its current location at 600 Jackson Street, giving room for clinical services to grow in that location.
This expansion is necessary as RACSB serves more individuals than ever. In Fiscal Year 2019, the agency served 12,944 individuals. RACSB launched Same Day Access last year as part of a state initiative that allows individuals to receive a drop-in assessment for behavioral health services. There were 3,564 area residents who showed up to take advantage of that service.
While the land acquisition offers several new opportunities for RACSB, the agency also hopes to hold onto some of the property’s history. RACSB leaders have met with an architect to explore options for keeping the 31-foot-wide mural on the back of one of the garden center’s warehouses.
“Nearly 300 volunteers came together in 2007 to tell a colorful story about our region’s diversity,” said the Rev. Lawrence Davies, a former Fredericksburg City mayor who sits on RACSB’s board of directors. “This beloved mural sprang from that collaboration, and its richness comes from the various items volunteers brought to place in the artwork. This is not unlike RACSB, which partners with the community to help individuals live to their fullest potential.”
Yaun was also cognizant of the connection between the land’s history and its future.
“For 90 years, Roxbury Farm and Garden has helped our community thrive and bloom,” she said. “We look forward to continuing that tradition by using this land to help our neighbors flourish in spite of challenges they may face.”
Founded in 1970, the Rappahannock Area Community Services Board (RACSB) provides public mental health, developmental disability, substance abuse and prevention/early intervention services to the residents of the City of Fredericksburg and the counties of Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania and Stafford. To learn more, visit www.rappahannockareacsb.org.