Posts Tagged ‘Healing Gardens’

What is a Healing Garden?

Sunday, September 11th, 2016
Legacy Meridian

Healing Garden at Legacy Meridian Park Medical Cntr, designed by Brian Bainnson. Photo by Naomi Sachs

My colleague, Dak Kopec, asked me to write a piece on healing gardens for his forthcoming book,  Environmental Psychology for Design, and he has graciously given permission to share it with you here on the TLN Blog. Dak is Director of Design for Human Health at Boston Architectural College and has written many books and other publications on the role of the environment in human health. Thank you, Dak!

Griffin Healing Garden

Healing Garden at The Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital. Photo by Naomi Sachs

What is a “healing garden”?

A “healing garden” is a garden or landscape designed for a specific population, place, and intended positive health outcome. The garden’s design (physical aspects) and programming (activities that take place there) are informed by research. The majority of healing gardens, also referred to as “restorative gardens” and “healthcare gardens” are in healthcare facilities including general acute care hospitals, outpatient clinics, assisted living and skilled nursing facilities, mental and behavioral health facilities, hospices, and specialty facilities such as rehabilitation, pediatric, and cancer hospitals and clinics. Garden users include patients or residents, visitors, and staff. Positive outcomes, including stress reduction, are derived through both passive and active nature connection and can take place indoors (via indoor plants, or from viewing nature through a window) and outdoors. A “rehabilitation garden,” “therapeutic garden,” or “enabling garden” is a garden where physical, occupational, horticultural, and other therapies take place. A “restorative landscape” or “landscape for health” is any landscape—wild or designed, large or small—that facilitates human health and well-being (Sachs, 2016).

TIRR Memorial Hermann

Planter with patient-painted tiles, TIRR Memorial Hermann. Photo by Naomi Sachs

Why is access to nature important?

Access to nature promotes health through reduction in stress, depression, myopia, pain, fatigue, aggression, impulsivity, and symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); and improvement in immune function, bone strength, wound healing, cognition, concentration, emotional resilience, empathy, vitality, relaxation, mood, and satisfaction (Cooper Marcus & Sachs, 2014; Kuo, 2015). Why is nature good for us? Part of the answer can found in the theory of biophilia, “the innately emotional affiliation of human beings to other living organisms” (Kellert & Wilson, 1993, p. 31). Stephen and Rachel Kaplan’s Attention Restoration Theory (1995) is based on the concept that “positive distraction” and “soft fascination” through nature engagement lead to mental and cognitive restoration from the stress caused by “directed attention.” More recent research has identified enhanced immune functioning as a potential “central pathway” in explaining the connection between nature contact and positive health outcomes. Nature, in hospitals and elsewhere, plays a salutogenic role in both disease prevention and health promotion (Kuo, 2015).

Healing Garden at Houston Hospice.

Healing Garden at Houston Hospice. Photo by Naomi Sachs

What elements are important in healing gardens?

Safety, the perception and safety, and comfort are all essential in healthcare gardens. Good design and proper maintenance can address challenges such as climatic extremes, inclement weather, pollen, and harmful bacteria and insects. For example, a choice of sun and shade enables users to be outside throughout the day. Covered seating areas, especially at the garden entrance, allow even the frailest of users to venture out when the weather is not ideal. Gardens should be designed so that even when they are not physically accessible, they can be viewed from indoors and are a pleasure to see in all four seasons. According to Roger Ulrich’s Theory of Supportive Garden Design (1999), healing gardens should provide 1) nature engagement (plants, animals, water, fresh air), 2) a sense of control (for example, doorways that are easily navigable, and areas where people can find privacy), 3) opportunities for social support, and 4) opportunities for movement and exercise. While it may seem obvious that nature should be present in a healing garden, examples of nature-poor healthcare “gardens” abound. Stakeholders must work together to maximize the natural, biophilic elements that facilitate the best possible outcomes for all users.

Smilow Cancer Center

Betty Ruth and Milton B. Hollander Healing Garden, Smilow Cancer Hospital. Designer: Towers Golde. Photo by Naomi Sachs

References

Cooper Marcus, C., & Sachs, N. A. (2014). Therapeutic landscapes: An evidence-based approach to designing healing gardens and restorative outdoor spaces. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.

Kaplan, S. (1995). The restorative benefits of nature: Toward an integrative framework. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 15, 169–82.

Kellert, S. R., & Wilson, E. O. (1993). The biophilia hypothesis. Washington, DC: Island Press.

Kuo, M. (2015). How might contact with nature promote human health? Promising mechanisms and a possible central pathway. Frontiers in Psychology, 6(1093).

Sachs, N. A. (2016). Gardens/Overview. Therapeutic Landscapes Network website. Retrieved from http://www.healinglandscapes.org/gardens.

Ulrich, R. S. (1999). Effects of gardens on health outcomes: Theory and research. In Cooper Marcus, C. & Barnes, M. (Eds.), Healing gardens: Therapeutic benefits and design recommendations (27–86). New York: John Wiley and Sons.

Book citation: Sachs, N. A. (in Press). In D. Kopec (author). Environmental psychology for design, 3rd Edition. New York: Fairchild Books.

 

Enter now! Landscape Architecture for Healthcare Communities awards

Friday, June 27th, 2014
Smilow Cancer Hospital healing garden

The stream at Yale-New Haven’s Smilow Cancer Hospital. Design by Towers Golde. Photo by Naomi Sachs

2013 was a momentous year for landscape architecture in healthcare design: It was the first year that Healthcare Design and Environments for Aging held the Landscape Architecture for Healthcare Communities Awards.

The projects were chosen by two different panels of jurors – one for Acute Care (Healthcare Design) and one for Senior Living (Environments for Aging and Long-Term Living). Acute Care and Senior Living project award winners were featured in the December digital issues of Healthcare Design and EFA magazines. Acute Care award winners were also featured in the May/June 2014 print edition and will be honored in November at HEALTHCARE DESIGN14 in San Diego, CA. Senior Living project winners were honored at the Environments for Aging conference in May.

And here’s more good news: They’re doing it again! Submission are due for both categories on July 14, 2014 so get busy with your applications.

This is a terrific opportunity for landscape architects and healthcare facilities with successful therapeutic landscapes to showcase their work, and for everyone else to see the best examples of how it should be done. (more…)

Therapeutic Landscape Colloborations Forum

Monday, September 30th, 2013
Harvey Zarren Healing Gardens

Harvey Zarren Healing Gardens at North Shore Medical Center’s Union Hospital, Lynn, MA

October 17 forum on evidenced-based design

What distinguishes a garden from a healing garden?  The main difference is the way in which a healing or therapeutic garden caters to its targeted users such as cancer, rehabilitation, psychiatric, or eldercare patients.

At an upcoming forum at Union Hospital in Lynn, Mass., designers, researchers, and healthcare providers will gather to discuss landscapes in healthcare settings that promote health and well-being. “Therapeutic Landscape Collaborations: Successful Evidence-Based Design” will take place October 17, 9 am -12:30 pm, at the North Shore Medical Center’s Union Hospital.

This presentation pairs healthcare providers, researchers and designers that focus on creating healing spaces and restorative landscapes to promote health and well-being. The experts include physicians, therapists, designers, architects and landscape architects whom will demonstrate down to the cellular level why gardens heal, and explore how different aspects to a healing garden can promote healing in different user groups. Examples of healing gardens will be shown and participants will tour the Dr. Harvey Zarren Healing Garden at the site as a case study. The program is sponsored jointly by The Landscape Institute and The Underground in cooperation with the North Shore Medical Centers Plant Operations Department.

Panelists include Harvey Zarren, M.D., F.A.C.C; Christine Wojnar, Feng Shui Institute of American; Elizabeth Ericson, FAIA, LEED AP; Deborah Gaw, Owner, Garden Scapes Landscape Design; Lisa Bailey, ASLA, Bayleaf Studio; David Jay, ASLA, LEED AP, O+M Weinmayer/Jay Associates; and Anna Pelosi, Lead HRO, NSMC Inpatient Psychiatry Services and Manager of Patient and Family Relations Department.

To learn more about the October 17 forum and to register, send an email to pce@the-bac.edu or visit http://the-bac.edu/news-and-events/events/therapeutic-landscape-collaborations-2013.

To learn more about the Harvey Zarren Healing Garden, visit the NSMC website – you can link from there to a nice photo gallery.

 

Boston Children’s Hospital’s Prouty Garden under threat of demolition. Guest post by Clare Cooper Marcus

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013
Boston Children's Hospital Prouty Garden

The Prouty Garden at Boston Children’s Hospital has served as a tranquil green urban oasis since 1956

The Prouty Garden at Boston Children’s Hospital has, for generations of patients, family members, and staff, served as a much-loved retreat from the clinical atmosphere inside. The garden was created in 1956, sponsored by Mrs. Olive Prouty whose two children had died in the hospital. Now it is under threat of demolition as the hospital looks for space to expand on its very urban site.

A petition to save the garden has already garnered over 6,500 signatures, but they need more! Please sign and help spread the word. Newspaper articles and radio reports (see, for example, WBUR and The Boston Globe) have taken up the story to plead for the retention of this irreplaceable green oasis.

A Scientific American article last year called the Prouty Garden “one of the most successful hospital gardens in the country.” Though though constructed long before our research-based knowledge of the critical issues in hospital garden design – it is almost perfect as a restorative space in healthcare. (more…)

THE LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE AWARD FOR HEALTHCARE ENVIRONMENTS – Applications due 9/20!

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013
Photo by Henry Domke, www.henrydomke.com

Photo by Henry Domke, www.henrydomke.com

I don’t usually make titles all in bold, but this is such an exciting opportunity, I wanted to grab your attention.

Vendome Group, publisher of Healthcare Design, Environments for Aging and Behavioral Healthcare, is excited to announce our inaugural The Landscape Architecture Award for Healthcare Environments!

Landscape Architecture projects will be featured in a special digital magazine that will reach more than 80,000 readers.

Highlights of this program include:

  • An ideal audience: Projects will be seen by Architects, Designers, Administrators, C-Suite Executives within healthcare communities, and more.
  • Recognition for exceptional landscape architecture and design within 3 categories: Acute Care, Senior Living and Behavioral Healthcare.
  • A low entry fee: Cost to enter is only $350 per project.
  • Expert Panelists: A jury of industry experts will choose one winner and runner-up within each of the 3 categories to be published in the digital magazine.

Award winners and runners-up will receive:

  • A 2-page spread, at no cost, featured in the digital magazine.
  • A prestigious award engraved with the firm and facility names; and
  • Editorial coverage in 2014.

All other firms with accepted projects will have the option to include their project in the digital magazine for a nominal fee.

As the Director of the Therapeutic Landscapes Network, I can’t tell you how excited I am about this program. Oh, wait, I just did.

Applications are due SOON – 9/20/13 so pull your material together and submit it!

To learn more, visit: www.healthcaredesignmagazine.com/page/landscape-architecture-awards-healthcare-environments