Six years ago this month, our CEO was in my office and I asked him, “What would you like the money from this year’s Humanitarian Award Dinner to support? Do you have any ideas?” He said, “Yeah, after visiting the Flower Show, I really think we should build a healing garden.” And that is how it all began!
What’s been amazing to watch is how that one idea brought together a new sense of collaboration between staff, former patients/family members, architects, community groups, and donors. Meetings were held to gather ideas on what we should include, what we were missing, and most importanly, what would make the Magee experience better for patients, their families, and our staff. Soon, this “healing garden” idea grew into what became the Creative Therapy Center and Healing Gardens.
I have been blessed to watch this process from the inside for these last six years, and I am incredibly thrilled that we are just weeks away from our grand opening celebration on May 17. In case you’ve missed the details along the way, here’s what this transformational project includes:
4 different sized Healing Gardens, each with its own unique focus
a Three-Seasons Therapy Area, where therapy can take place away from the typical hospital setting
multiple raised, accessible planter gardens for participants in our Horticultural Therapy program to enjoy
an Art Therapy Studio and two Art Therapy Galleries to showcase the amazing work done by our patients
a Spirituality Center and outdoor Meditation Garden where everyone can find a quiet space to reflect and relax
an outdoor “Avenue” to relax and enjoy the sights, with extraordinary views of the city, now accessible to all through
our new Windows to the City
a renovated Greenhouse for all to enjoy
significant upgrades to Segal Street, our outdoor city streetscape which provides patients the opportunity to navigate curb cuts, a ramp, different types of terrain, and practice getting in and out of a car, that is now protected by a roof!
We are grateful to everyone who supported this project by contributing more than $2.1 million to help bring it to life, as well asthose whose ideas were a part of the final plans.
The Grand Opening will take place on Wednesday, May 17 at noon and all are invited. Please RSVP to JMungan@MageeRehab.org if you’d like to join us. If you can’t make it that day but would like to visit another day, email HealingGarden@MageeRehab.org and we can arrange that.
I want to keep all of you in suspense as to just how beautiful it looks, so for now, I will only share this picture of me by one of the new glass Windows to the City. After 20 years of looking at a tall brick wall, it’s really cool to see the view that everyone standing up has always talked about!
Top photo: Hospital Board Chair Fred D’Angelo, President & CEO Dr. Jack Carroll, and Foundation Board Chair Bill Conrad at the Creative Therapy Center & Healing Gardens groundbreaking in Spring 2016