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Therapeutic Garden Project


Westminster College

McCormick Care Foundation

 The WCA, the McCormick Care Foundation, and Westminster College Foundation Support a Therapeutic Garden Project at Fanshawe College and Alzheimer Outreach Services


In partnership with the McCormick Care Foundation, the Westminster College Foundation, and Fanshawe College, the WCA is supporting a therapeut ic garden research project. Conducted at the Alzheimer Outreach Services day program, the project is designed to assess the effect of horticultural therapy on the quality of life for those in dementia care. Consistent with the AOS philosophy of meaningful engagement, these gardens enable interested clients to plant and nurture their own garden beds.


As part of the WCA’s goal to be a leader in innovative dementia care by 2022, exploring new ways to provide care and support is an integral part of this effort. This exploration involves collaborating in research activity and working with our community partners to discover how we can enhance the lives of those living with a dementia diagnosis.


A total of 14 Alzheimer Outreach Services day program clients who had an expressed interest and history in gardening activities participated in the pilot study. These clients attended to their own assigned, accessible garden plots for a period of 10 weeks. The grant also included the installation of bird houses and feeders to provide enhanced client enjoyment both indoors and outdoors.

Timing and Location:

The study began in the summer of 2014 at Alzheimer Outreach Services, and phase two of the project is expected to begin in the summer of 2015. The study is expected to continue pending the results of both phases.

If you have any questions, please contact Steve Crawford, CEO, WCA, at 432-2648 ext. 2319, or by e-mail at