Healing garden opens at Castle Rock hospital

New space combines powers of nature and health care

Jessica Gibbs and Casey Van Divier
jgibbs@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 12/26/17

Patients, doctors, nurses, visitors and any other people who need spend time at Castle Rock Adventist Hospital now have another place to pass the hours. The hospital has opened a new “healing …

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Healing garden opens at Castle Rock hospital

New space combines powers of nature and health care

Posted

Patients, doctors, nurses, visitors and any other people who need spend time at Castle Rock Adventist Hospital now have another place to pass the hours. The hospital has opened a new “healing garden,” located between its Briscoe and Alexander buildings.

The campus already includes a community garden, but this latest project is meant specifically as a place of healing, said the Castle Rock Adventist Hospital Foundation Chief Development Officer, Valerie Ross.

The area features a year-round fountain, a sitting wall, paths lined by trees, a play area for children, a grassy area and a playhouse. Although it is open, planting will not take place until the spring.

“We have 60 trees going into that space, and of course it’s all very Colorado style — low maintenance, low water, all approved by the Town of Castle Rock,” Ross said.

Providing a tree requires a $1,000 donation. Donors will be honored with a silver leaf on a metal tree that an artist is creating for the space. Anyone interested can contact Ross at ValerieRoss@centura.org.

“All donors for the garden are going to be recognized,” Ross said. “When you walk through it’s going to tell a story of the community support we’ve had through the garden project.”

The donor tree won’t be the only artwork showcased at the garden. Dianne Heidbreder, who served on a committee formed to help bring the garden project to fruition, has also donated a sculptural piece of art with her family.

The sculpture, a hibiscus, is in memory of her late husband. His two-year fight against the pancreatic cancer that ultimately took his life helped inspire Heidbreder to get involved with the garden.

She knows firsthand what it’s like to spend days, sometimes up to a month, at a hospital, often out-of-state, while a loved one receives care. Days revolve around waking up, going to the hospital, finding ways to fill the time, staying until dark and then returning to your hotel, she said.

“It’s your daily thing,” she said. “Then you come back to the hospital and you do it again and you do it again, every day, you know. It’s very difficult and it can be depressing.”

A healing garden, she said, is something every hospital should have.

“When you’re in a hospital setting, sometimes you’re here on your worst day and having to sit inside is difficult,” Ross said. “We actually believe it’s very evidence-based to combine nature with health care.”

Ross said the hospital hopes the garden will provide an oasis for people undergoing experiences like that of Heidbreder, and for families at the hospital for happy reasons, such as the birth of a child. It will also be used for events, like yoga classes, sports therapy or simply a lunch spot.

“Everyone loves this project, so it’s been really easy to engage the community,” Ross said. “Churches, civic groups, they’re all excited about how we can use this garden for creating more partnerships in the community.”

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