Open Voices Blog

Archives for posts tagged as "horticultural therapy"

Gardens engage the mind, muscles, and hope

05/18/17 | View Comments

Planting a seed engages the mind. Working the soil engages the muscles in our hands. Watching new life grow engages our hope.

Gardening is perhaps one of the oldest and most common ways we interact with nature everyday, and there is increasing awareness among scientists of the potential health benefits derived from gardening activities. A small planter outside the window, a community garden plot, or a private green space all provide possible health benefits.

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Horticultural Therapy and the Greeks

10/13/15 | View Comments

Haec fuere numinum templa, priscoque ritu simplicia rura etiam nunc deo praecellentem arborem dicant; nec magis auro fulgentia atque ebore simulacra quam lucos et in iis silentia ipsa adoramus…- Pliny the Elder

A translation of this latin quote reveals the early Greek belief and use of natural areas for healing. “The trees formed the first temples of the gods, and even at the present day, the country people, preserving in all their simplicity their ancient rites, consecrate the finest among their trees to some divinity; indeed, we feel ourselves inspired to adoration, not less by the sacred groves and their very stillness, than by the statues of the gods, resplendent as they are with gold and ivory….”

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An Enabling Garden: An interview with Alicia Green of Chicago’s Botanic Garden

07/28/15 | View Comments

As you enter the Buehler Enabling Garden, you will delight in how enveloped and comfortable you feel. It is nestled on one of Chicago Botanic Garden’s nine interconnected islands totaling 385 acres and six miles of lake shoreline. The Enabling Garden itself consists of three interconnecting outside “rooms” enclosed by lattice walls and interlaced with flowers, vegetables and vines.

We recently talked with the coordinator for the Buehler Enabling Garden, Alicia Green. Alicia has a B.A. in biology from the University of Illinois with an emphasis in ornamental horticulture. She began her career at the Chicago Botanic Garden in 2000 as the nursery grower and continued to gain experience in interior landscaping, exterior landscaping, high-end garden retail, and holiday design. She obtained a master’s degree in counseling from Northeastern Illinois University in 2009 and is a national certified counselor as well as a registered horticultural therapist.

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A Sense of Surround, in person and virtually

07/21/15 | View Comments

In our Open Voices blog we share insight from leaders in our communities who are advancing what it means to have sacred, open green spaces in our cities.

As you enter the Buehler Enabling Garden, you will delight in how enveloped and comfortable you feel. It is nestled on one of Chicago Botanic Garden’s nine interconnected islands totaling 385 acres and six miles of lake shoreline. The Enabling Garden itself consists of three interconnecting outside “rooms” enclosed by lattice walls and interlaced with flowers, vegetables and vines.

enabling garden

Latticed walls encourage movement and interest through the green space.

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Connecting and Coping: An Interview with Teresia Hazen

06/09/15 | View Comments

In our Open Voices blog we share insight from leaders in our communities who are advancing what it means to have sacred, open green spaces in our cities. This month we take a moment to examine the real, lived experience of an open, sacred green space.

This week we talked with Teresia Hazen, MEd, HTR, GMHP, Coordinator of the Therapeutic Garden Program at Legacy Health in Portland, OR. Hazen is one of our Nature Sacred National Award team members, a leader in her field, and someone who deeply experiences the healing power of nature in her everyday life.

Nature Sacred: In the past decade, there have been many online articles about Legacy’s Gardens and your esteemed career history. The interviews and features over the past few years typically focus on the gardens themselves or the science of health and nature access. Although the science and history of the therapeutic gardens is central to our talk today, I am also interested in hearing about your interaction with patients and your own time spent in a garden or green space. You have an amazing story. You were an educator and gardener for 20 years before learning about horticultural therapy in the late 1980s. And you began working with Legacy in the early 1990s. Since then you have had so much more experience and time to learn and grow. How have your interests progressed professionally or personally in the field of therapeutic horticulture?

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    We are a private nonprofit that supports, informs, and inspires the creation of publicly accessible urban green spaces. We believe that every city resident needs nearby green space to provide opportunities for mindfulness, respite, and renewal. The Foundation has issued its final grants to build five Open Spaces Sacred Places and research the impacts on a variety of users with the hope that the powerful connection between nature, spirit and human wellbeing will be scientifically proven.

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