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Hopewell Virtual Spring Summit

Summer Solstice 2022

March 21, 2012

Nature's Healing Power at Hopewell

The wind rustling in the trees. A lake sparkling in the sun. Birds calling through the forest. If these words conjure images that relax you, you're not alone. Experience in nature has long been recognized as healing. For individuals struggling with mental illness, nature can serve to reduce symptoms and improve health.

With this in mind and with the generous support of the Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation, Hopewell has created a nature-based therapy program. Although Hopewell's existing programming includes elements of growing food, caring for farm animals and generally enjoying our natural environment, we believe that creating specific experiences and challenges based in nature will help residents heal.

Over the last several months, some of the weekly activities residents have participated in include:

  • Hiking and camping
  • Nature arts projects
  • Wilderness skills training
  • Bird watching and plant identification

Future plans will bring the garden inside for an indoor plant care project, create a Hopewell nature calendar and make sensory trail improvements along the Clara Rankin Trail. On bad weather days, residents learn about local plants and animals, write about nature for the Hopewell resident newsletter and build a Hopewell species database. Daniel Horne, Clinical Manager, says, "Nature is already a significant component of our community. Our hope is that by actively introducing our residents to their natural surroundings and engaging them in explorations of their individual issues within the context of nature, we will have significant and lasting positive impacts on the quality of their lives."

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