Root Cause is a 501c(3) non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging gardening and nature to help people live happier, healthier lives.

“Just Like plants, if people have basic needs met they can survive, but give them more love, more attention, more care and they will thrive.” – Nikki Irwin,LSW  Root Cause Director

This program is in loving memory of…

Dr. Ed Hackett, Mike Tucker & Bill Vietch

All of whom had a love of nature & an understanding of its’ nurturing qualities.

The Seed was Planted…

Our Director, Nikki Irwin, an Ohio Accredited Licensed Social Worker, was raised by a farmer.  Her Dear Ole Dad, Bob Kiblinger, passed down his knowledge and love of gardening that he had learned from those whom had come before, and Nikki is in turn passing that along to her son, Miles Wesley.


The Story of Root Cause…

In 2006, Nikki ran a social recreation program for adults living with mental illness. Nikki organized a community garden for her clients and invited children from a local foster care program to join.  The garden had such a positive and profound effect.  It helped individuals often struggling to cope find some peace, joy and friendship.  Nikki concluded the gardening and nature are not utilized enough as a therapeutic technique.  This thought stayed with her, and in 2007, Nikki became a Certified Ohio State Master Gardener.  It was during this class she had an epiphany;  “Just Like plants, if people have basic needs met they can survive, but give them more love, more attention, more care and they will thrive.”  Nikki could not stop thinking about the needs of her own community and how a theraputic gardening program could make a positive impact.  in 2010, Nikki became a certified as a Community Garden Program Coordinator from the Civic Garden Center of Greater Cincinnati.

Since, Nikki, along with the support of a 5 member board, pro-bono lawyer, volunteers, participants, local businesses, organizations, friends & family has started a non-profit organization from the ground up!

Root Cause strives to increase the quality of life for those it serves.


**Root Cause does not discriminate against any person based on age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, ancestry, or veteran status in admission, treatment, or participation in its programs, services and activities, or in employment.**

Nikki was awarded the National Alliance on Mental Health, Florence Beacon Award for her outstanding support to consumers and their families.

Help us grow….

Please, designate Root Cause at Kroger. Go to the website:  Kroger Community Rewards and either sign in if you already have an account or create an account and register your Kroger Plus Card. Then go to “Community Page” and select Root Cause, Inc. (# 82842) as your designated non-profit organization and credit for your purchases will go towards Root Cause.