“Nature Heals” Symposium – Still time to register!

August 12th, 2015

NatureHealsHeader

Nature Heals Symposium
Organized and hosted by the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality & Healing and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
Sept. 30 – Oct. 2, 2015

Do you ever wish you could be in more than one place at the same time? I would so love to attend this event. So I’m asking you: Please go in my stead and report back.

A connection to nature is essential to human health and wellbeing. If you are interested in learning about the healing power of nature, and understanding more about how nature increases health and improves wellbeing, you should attend our Nature-Based Therapies Public Forum on Sept. 30. For those interested in the application of nature-based therapies research, and how it can be applied to your workplace, clinic, or professional environments, consider attending our Nature-Based Therapies Research Symposium. These events are hosted by the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality & Healing and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.

Presenters* include:
Terry Hartig – Restorative Landscapes
Agnes van den Berg – Green Exercise
Joe Sempik – Therapeutic Horticulture
Cindy Wilson – Animal Assisted Interactions
Jan Hassink – Care Farming

*These are some of the “rock stars” in this field. Again: I wish I could go. Please go for me!

For more information and to register, visit the Center for Spirituality & Healing.

 

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Wordless Wednesday 7/15/15 – Summer fruit

July 15th, 2015
Summer plums. Photo by Naomi Sachs

Summer plums

 

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Designed for the Future: 80 Practical Ideas for a Sustainable World

June 2nd, 2015

Designed for the Future: 80 Practical Ideas for a Sustainable World

Wait. Take a deep breath. Before you throw your hands up in hopeless despair that the world is coming to a quick and ugly end, I have a book for you to read. Jared Green, author of Designed for the Future: 80 Practical Ideas for a Sustainable World (Princeton Architectural Press) asked 80 global leaders who shape our built environment (architects, urban planners, landscape architects, journalists, artists, and environmental leaders) the question, “What gives you hope that a sustainable future is possible?” Each one-page answer, illustrated with an image on the opposite page, is thought-provoking, informative, and inspiring.

In the introduction, Green says his book “represents the collective wisdom of a hive mind.” And it really does. With my particular interest in landscapes for health and healthcare, I especially enjoyed John Cary’s “Butaro Hospital” and Tim Beatley’s “Koo Teck Puat Hospital.” (Full disclosure, I also have an excerpt in the book, about Central Park as an ideal example of “nearby nature”). While all of the essays resonated with me in one way or another, a few stand out: Janine Benyus’ “Termite Mounds,” Jeff Stein’s “City Repair,” John Peterson’s “Holding Pattern,” Janet Echelman’s “Park(ing) Day,” and J. Meejin Yoon’s “The Lightning Field.”

Designed for the FutureGreen tell us that “We can’t give up yet.” He also says,

And reading through all the answers, I thought again that hope is perhaps the most valuable currency we have, as it motivates all our actions–from creating a world-changing new technology to preserving a beloved old building or town or square to protecting a threatened community or ecosystem. We have the answers.

The book is a really good read, and designers will appreciate it for the aesthetics as well–not what you’d usually think of for the beach, but pack it along, you won’t be disappointed.

 

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Labyrinths for Healthcare: Approach with Caution

May 29th, 2015
Labyrinth at St. Joseph Memorial Hospital. Photo by Clare Cooper Marcus

St. Joseph Memorial Hospital, Santa Rosa, CA. This labyrinth is appropriate for a healthcare setting since the walking route is relatively short (7-circuit); there are no overlooking windows, and vegetative screening ensures privacy; it is shaded; and a simple explanatory sign explains its use. Photo by Clare Cooper Marcus

This post might invite more invective or controversy than usual (which is usually none, so we’ll see), but it’s something important to discuss: Labyrinths are not always appropriate for healthcare gardens. When they are used, they need to be sited and designed to best benefit garden users. Clare Cooper Marcus and I discuss this issue in our book Therapeutic Landscapes: An Evidence-Based Approach to Designing Healing Gardens and Restorative Outdoor Spaces and some of the text below is excerpted from Chapter 6 (p. 78).

Please understand: I have nothing against labyrinths per se. In fact, in the right place and context, I think they are wonderful and I very much enjoy walking them. The TLN has a page on labyrinths. In our chapter on Gardens for Veterans and Active Duty Personnel, we discuss how labyrinths are used in the therapeutic process (p. 210-211).

First, what is a labyrinth?
The classical labyrinth consists of a continuous path that winds in circles into a center and out again. This basic form dates from antiquity and is intended for contemplative walking. A labyrinth is sometimes erroneously referred to as a maze, which consists of a complex system of pathways between tall hedges, with the purpose of getting people lost. The aim of a maze is playful diversion, whereas the aim of the labyrinth was, and is, to offer the user a walking path of quiet reflection. See this earlier TLN Blog post for more on the distinction between labyrinths and mazes.

Labyrinth at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

Labyrinth at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

Read the rest of this entry »

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Happy Earth Day!

April 22nd, 2015
From http://happydayquote.com/earth-day-quotes-tumblr/

From http://happydayquote.com/earth-day-quotes-tumblr/

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