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News Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Patient Serenity Garden adds new calming element to hospital backyard

This summer brings a fresh expanded backyard experience for patients, families, staff and visitors. We are proud to welcome the new Patient Serenity Garden to our Chicago hospital backyard. The lush landscape, new pergola, bricked pathways and bubbling fountain enhance the garden environment already available on accessible walkways. All of the new plants have scents that are naturally calming and should attract lots of butterflies.

“The new fountain also provides a soothing noise," Darlene Kelly, director of recreation therapy/child life said. Her department coordinated the expansion and will help maintain the entire backyard garden area. "We wanted to offer parents an additional place to relax and release stress while their child is in a hospital environment."

All of the garden spaces will also be used as part of horticultural therapy, which is offered as one of many patient programs at the Chicago Shriners hospital. “Each garden space in our backyard has a purpose. This new area is a place for patients, families and staff to sit and be calm,” Amanda Hogle, certified recreation therapist said. “The previous space wasn’t functional and didn't serve a therapeutic purpose." Hogle said the backyard also features a butterfly garden, a fairy garden and an aqua garden.

The design for the new Patient Serenity Garden comes courtesy of the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Horticultural Therapy Program and Amy Olson, a landscape architect, ISA certified arborist and principal at Olson Landscape Architects. Volunteers, including hospital staff, provided the labor to install the hundreds of new plants.

Thank you to the sponsors of the Serenity Garden including:

 Spirit of Children Foundation
Chicago Botanic Garden
Old World Brick Paving
Medinah Shrine Clowns
Lurvey Landscape Supply

Garden installation Garden in bloom