An opinion piece by pediatrician Robert Zarr and TLN Founding Director Naomi Sachs was published yesterday in The Hill, titled “Prescribing nature for improved health makes an economic case for the Land and Water Conservation Fund.” Here are a couple of snippets, and you can read the full piece here.(more…)
Landscapes for health
Prescribing nature for improved health
December 17, 2018
‘The Salutogenic City’ – Design for Health on a Large Scale
January 25, 2018
Clare Cooper Marcus and I wrote this article, The Salutogenic City a couple of years ago. It was first published in World Health Design. Clare was, of course, also my co-author for the book Therapeutic Landscapes.(more…)
“Ecoliteracy Under Our Feet” – Greening Cleveland Elementary School
December 30, 2014
For the last Therapeutic Landscapes Network Blog post of 2014, we want to share an inspiring story of one of many schools that that is “greening” its schoolyard. The six gardens and overall ecoliteracy program at Cleveland Elementary School in Oakland, CA were spurred by Mary Schriner, who interviewed for a position there. When they asked her why she wanted to work at Cleveland Elementary, she responded, “Because your school looks like a prison yard, and I’d like to change that.” And she has changed both the school and grounds, and the lives of those who learn and teach there. One of the first conversations with her students began with the question, “What is a weed?” The project has been a tremendous success. Says Schriner, “I’ve had many, many moments when I’ve almost wanted to cry because I can feel the community happening, not because of me, but because of the natural world that we’re trying to create conditions for at the school. There’s been so much magic around the garden that I just have a lot of gratitude.”
Click here to read the full article by The Center for Ecoliteracy‘s senior editor Michael Stone, “So Much Magic Around the Garden.”
Landscapes for people with cancer – A (former) patient’s point of view. Guest post by Kevan Busa
July 11, 2014
Kevan Busa first contacted me in August of 2012. He was in his last year as an undergraduate in landscape architect at SUNY-ESF, and had been excited about the upcoming semester abroad program in Barcelona, Spain…until he was diagnosed with Leukemia. When he emailed me, he was in his fourth out of five rounds of chemotherapy, and was scheduled to be in Buffalo for three months to get a bone marrow transplant. He wrote, “I talked to my school and doctors and i think that i am going to be doing an independent study of healing spaces while i am there.” Seriously? You plan on doing research while you recover from chemo and a bone marrow transplant? Wow. And he did! His research was subsequently published in the June, 2013 issue of Landscape Architecture magazine. I asked him to write a guest post for the TLN Blog, and he graciously agreed. The post is below.
Looking back at by far the hardest year of my life, I have realized the potential that I have to share my information with the professional world and especially people interested in healing spaces. There is more information being added every day that will help so many people in the future and am honored to be adding my research and experience to the Therapeutic Landscapes Network.
I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and went through a Bone Marrow Transplant within the past year. There was a lot to take in when I got sick and to think about, especially life. Being a landscape architecture student at the State University of New York: College of Environmental Science and Forestry, the topic of healing spaces from within a hospital setting was always on my mind. I went through chemotherapy rounds as the world around me was enjoying summer and the outdoors. All I wanted to do was to be outside when I wasn’t getting treatment.
Live Long and Landscape: Gardening for Health & Happiness
September 2, 2013
Garden Conservancy Seminar at Los Angeles Arboretum:
Live Long and Landscape: Gardening for Health & Happiness
Gardening and healthy living naturally go hand in hand. What could be healthier than eating fresh, homegrown fruits, vegetables, and herbs? On Saturday, October 19, the Garden Conservancy together with the Los Angeles County Arboretum, will be sponsoring a day-long seminar with six speakers who will cover landscaping, edible gardens, outdoor feng shui, and much more. The speakers will share how and why gardening and other outdoor activity are terrific exercise. Gardens are also good for the soul, as peaceful retreats and places to re-energize and de-stress.
For more information about the event or the speakers, visit the Garden Conservancy website. Learn more about the speakers by reading their bios.
What: Garden Conservancy Seminar – lectures, lunch, book signings, and guided garden walks
When: Saturday, October 19, 2013
Where: Los Angeles Arboretum & Botanic Garden, 301 North Baldwin Avenue, Arcadia, CA 91007
Time: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Get an early start by joining a yoga class in the garden at 7:45 a.m.)
You may register online or by calling 845.424.6500. Registration is $80 for members and $90 general admission.
Vincent van Gogh’s restorative landscapes
August 1, 2013
Vincent van Gogh painted his famous “Iris” series at the Asylum of Saint Paul de Mausole in Saint-Rémy, France, in 1889. Allowed to roam the asylum ’s grounds, van Gogh wrote in a letter to his brother, Theo, “When I send you the four canvases of the garden. . .you ’ll see that considering that life happens above all in the garden, it isn ’t so sad.” In a letter to his mother and sister he wrote, “But precisely for one ’s health, as you say—it ’s very necessary to work in the garden and to see the flowers growing.”
From Van Gogh, Vincent. 2009. Vincent van Gogh–The Letters: The Complete Illustrated and Annotated Edition. Edited by Leo Jansen, Hans Luijten, Nienke Bakker of the Van Gogh Museum in association with the Huygens Institute. London: Thames and Hudson Ltd. Letters 776 and 889 retrieved from http://www.vangoghletters.org/vg/letters.html on May 8, 2013.
Gezi Park, Nearby Nature, and Democracy
June 13, 2013
Can you imagine a city without any parks? The recent mass (literally – they are happening all over the country) protests in Turkey, sparked by the government’s plans to raze the only remaining park in Istanbul, is a powerful indicator of people’s need for green space (click here for a good overview).
Yesterday I posted a fascinating New York Times Blog article, “Urban Trees as Triggers, From Istanbul to Oregon,” on our Facebook and Linked In groups for discussion. Filiz Satir, our TLN Blog Events Editor, wrote this response:
So, I have been following the events in Istanbul and Turkey with great interest. (My family is from Turkey.) What started out as a peaceful protest two weeks ago in opposition to construction of a shopping mall and the razing of park in the heart of Istanbul Turkey – quickly transformed into a countrywide political protest against the policies of governing AK Party and Prime Minister R.T. Erdogan. However, the original protests in the famous Gezi Park were about the public staking a claim on and fighting for one of the last remaining open spaces in this hub of Istanbul – truly a labyrinth of a metropolis.
I am nervous for what might happen in the next 8 to 10 hours as the PM issued an ultimatum earlier today – to shut down protesters in the park. This mini-documentary is compelling for showing Turkish civil society becoming politically engaged through their activities in and around Gezi Park, Taksim Square http://youtu.be/9hqeC4L7of8 via @youtube
What do you think of all of this? Please leave a comment here or on our Linked In group.
Filiz Satir, in addition to being our terrific Events Editor, is the author of the beautiful blog Nearby Nature: Lessons From the Natural World. She is a enior communications professional, technical writer, and storyteller with a track record for delivering institutional communications programs for a variety of public and private organizations. Thank you, Filiz!
Food gardens are healing gardens – Guest post by Filiz Satir
January 3, 2013
“Food insecurity can have wide-ranging detrimental consequences on the physical and mental health of adults (and) more vulnerable populations…Lack of access to a nutritious and adequate food supply has implications not only for the development of physical and mental disease, but also behaviors and social skills.” — Feeding America, U.S. hunger-relief charity
Food gardens are healing gardens
Guest post by Filiz Satir
Families with limited incomes often lack the means to put fresh, nutritious food on the table. In the “land of plenty” a stunning 1 in 6 adults, and 1 in 5 children suffer from poor nutrition and struggle with hunger.
In addition to food assistance programs, food banks and other hunger relief groups, American cities are witnessing a growth in urban agriculture and associated non-profits working to fight food insecurity. Programs that support urban and suburban food production are providing low-income families with the skills and tools to grow fresh, local and healthy food. One such group is Seattle’s Just Garden Project that builds home gardens for eligible families living 200 percent below the poverty line in King County, Washington.
“We are spreading the use of household gardens to help end hunger, improve day-to-day food security and decrease food-related health issues in lower income families,” says Stephanie Seliga, manager of Just Garden Project (JGP). Now in its third year, JGP builds 30 kitchen gardens a year for eligible low-income families and vulnerable groups. The recipients’ participation in the garden “build outs,” shifts their personal experience with food from one of being a consumer only to being a producer.
TLN member stories: A healing garden for canines
November 27, 2012
Who says healing gardens are just for people? Thanks to Marijean Stephenson, an RN and TLN member, for sharing this story:
One of my Cairn Terriers, Corrie, recently sustained a serious pelvic and spinal cord injury after being hit by a car. I returned home after working a night shift and found him at my doorstep, just waiting for me. While I was at work, Corrie had dug under the fence surrounding the yard and went out onto the road. He had apparently returned to that same place he had earlier escaped after sustaining his injury and scooted up to the doorstep of my house.
Corrie has been spending the past few days in a large veterinary ICU (Veterinary Referral Medical and Surgical Care) in Indianapolis. His prognosis is surprisingly good: he will not require surgery to repair his multiple fractures, and will eventually be able to romp around the yard like he normally had done. I had thought I would have to euthanize my dog. I still cannot believe this miracle.
After I got off work early yesterday evening, I drove to the hospital to visit him (this place has visitation 24/7). I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Corrie had been taken outside to their “healing garden” area by the veterinary staff. (more…)
“Biophilic Design: The Architecture of Life”
October 18, 2012
A documentary on the biophilic approach to designing cities, suburbs
A new film takes viewers on a journey from our evolutionary past and architecture’s origins to the world’s most celebrated buildings in a search for the architecture of life. The documentary, “Biophilic Design: The Architecture of Life” by Stephen Kellert and Bill Finnegan will be featured October 23 at New York City’s AIA Center for Architecture.
Kellert and Finnegan’s film explores innovative ways of designing the places where we live, work, and learn, and will be introduced by Stephen Kellert. As one reviewer put it: “The film plainly states that bad design is part of the cause of environmental degradation and that good design is part of the solution.”
The producers describe their film in this way:
“Biophilic Design is an innovative way of designing the places where we live, work, and learn. We need nature in a deep and fundamental fashion, but we have often designed our cities and suburbs in ways that both degrade the environment and alienate us from nature. The recent trend in green architecture has decreased the environmental impact of the built environment, but it has accomplished little in the way of reconnecting us to the natural world, the missing piece in the puzzle of sustainable development.”
The film screening, followed by a panel discussion, is co-sponsored by the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and the Yale Alumni Association of New York. For a sneak peek of the film, view the trailer now. If you have questions, please contact Georgia Silvera Seamans or visit this film screening site.
The book, Biophilic Design: The Theory, Science, and Practice of Bringing Buildings to Life, edited by Kellert, Judith Heerwagen, and Martin Mador is also excellent.
What: Documentary, “Biophilic Design: The Architecture of Life”
When: Tuesday, October 23, 2012, 12:15 – 2:45 p.m.
Where: AIA Center for Architecture, Hines Gallery, 536 LaGuardia Place, NYC