Therapeutic Garden Design and Veterans Affairs: Preparing for Future Needs
P. Annie Kirk, BSW, MLA, ASLA, ANLD, Alee Karpf, MS, CTRS, HTR, and Jack Carman, FASLA, RLA, CAPS
Veterans comprise a large segment of the U.S. population – 26 million people. Based on current active combat statistics, a sharp spike in need for healthcare services is likely to result in a great number of veterans requiring short- or long-term stays within Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities. During the last several years the VA has put its healthcare facilities under 21 networks, which provide more medical services to more veterans and family members than at any time during the VA’s long history (Department of Veterans Affairs, May 2006). Gardens and green spaces have the potential to fill a critical role in healing, especially in long-term rehabilitation. Collaborative efforts in VA facilities between landscape architects and horticultural and other rehabilitation therapists offer opportunities to create, program, and use outdoor environments for restorative and healing outcomes. Use of therapeutic landscapes, whether passively and/or actively, benefits patients, staff, family members, and caregivers. This paper will review the VA healthcare system, current demands on service delivery, and two existing VA therapeutic garden settings and their associated programs that offer alternative treatment methods to veterans.
Development of the Nature-Based Therapy Concept for Patients with Stress-Related Illness at the
Danish Healing Forest Garden Nacadia
Sus Sola Corazon, Ulrika K. Stigsdotter, Anne Grete Claudi Jensen, and Kjell Nilsson
In 2007 Forest & Landscape Denmark, a center at the University of Copenhagen, initiated a research and development project called the Healing Forest Garden Nacadia (in short: Nacadia). Nacadia will be built during the spring of 2010 and ready to receive patients the following summer. The aim of this paper is to describe the nature-based therapy (NBT) concept and design of Nacadia. The NBT concept describes the theoretical framework around the treatment. It is based on the therapeutic use of sensory experiences, horticultural activities, nature-related stories, and symbols within a mindfulness-based cognitive therapy approach. Based on the experience from the Alnarp Rehabilitation Garden in Sweden, evidence-based guidelines for healing garden design have been further developed and implemented at Nacadia.
In addition to describing the NBT concept and the garden design, a short overview of the NBT program will be given, along with an example from the activity manual used in the program. It is the intention of the authors that this paper be viewed as a contribution toward developing the concept of NBT and healing garden design, bearing in mind that the proposed concept and design must be empirically tested to demonstrate its validity. An important component of the Nacadia project involves conducting comparable effect studies when the garden is up and running. Results from these studies will be presented once they have been completed.
A Descriptive Study of the Training and Practice of American Horticultural Therapy Association Members
Jean M. Larson, Ph.D., Lija Greenseid, Ph.D., and Mary Hockenberry Meyer, Ph.D.
This article examines the demographic composition of AHTA membership, describes the professional characteristics of AHTA members, and examines the differences between demographic and professional training of the AHTA membership. A comprehensive on-line survey of 40 questions was sent to all AHTA members with email addresses. Almost 40% (or 249/630 members) responded to the survey. The findings from this study are a step toward the development of a competency-based evaluation of entry-level horticultural therapy practitioners, part of the ongoing effort to protect the public interest and advance the field of horticultural therapy.
Botanical Gardens: Fertile Soil for the Practice of Horticultural Therapy
Lesley L. Fleming, MA, HTR and Gwen J. Dutrizac, Ph.D., C.Psych.
This paper examines a sampling of the horticultural therapy programs delivered via botanical gardens. By using the American Horticultural Therapy Association definitions of horticultural therapy program types these examples provide new perspectives on horticultural therapy and practical ideas for its delivery at botanical garden settings.