Japanese garden enthusiasts visit Rosecrance Griffin Williamson Campus

Guests from across the U.S. experienced the Rosecrance Healing Garden’s peace and tranquility during the North American Japanese Garden Association’s recent conference in Rockford.

The serene setting at the Rosecrance Griffin Williamson Campus introduced visitors to clinical staff and demonstrated the value of gardens in therapy.

“There are only a few spaces like this linked to clinical interventions, which makes our treatment program cutting edge,” said Therapeutic Recreation Coordinator Abby Nelson. “We use nature to help clients develop mindfulness and emotional regulation skills while also giving them a unique setting to build hope into their lives.”

In addition, visitors were encouraged see how nature anywhere could be used to build healthy coping skills.

“As important as space like this can be for a clinical program, the concept of nature as therapy is for anyone,” Nelson said. “People can use whatever they have in their backyard to proactively manage emotions and find a sense of peace.”

The Healing Garden is a six-acre space designed by renowned Japanese landscape architect Hoichi Kurisu, completed in 2004. It offers a variety of plants and structures as the means for a pathway to self-discovery and inner peace. Honoring the 12-Step journey, the garden incorporates 12 features filled with meaning for contemplation.