DELRAY BEACH – The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens has received a $95,000 grant from Astellas USA Foundation to support the expansion of its Stroll for Well-Being program of therapeutic garden walking to nonprofit counseling, support and therapy groups serving those who are experiencing emotional health issues.
Stroll for Well-Being is designed to provide a peaceful experience in a nurturing environment that promotes serenity and resilience in the face of adversity. The program is intended to serve individuals who are dealing with personal stress-management issues, despondency, or emotional exhaustion.
Research, including a study conducted at the Morikami, has shown that the simple act of walking in a natural environment or garden setting has positive effects on mood and outlook in individuals. Based on such research, Stroll for Well-Being uses a guidebook/journal featuring several themed walks that identify points throughout the Morikami garden at which to pause, reflect, and experience a sense of ease.
The guidebook/journal was developed by researchers at the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing at Florida Atlantic University as part of a study they conducted at Morikami in 2005 and 2006. The study, which looked at the effects of garden visitation on mild depression in the elderly, was funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services, an agency of the federal government.
Since the conclusion of the study, the Morikami Museum has offered Stroll for Well-Being to the general public for the cost of a year’s membership to the museum and the price of the guidebook/journal. The grant from Astellas USA Foundation will allow the museum to expand the program to eligible counseling and support groups by funding the costs of the membership and the guidebook/journal for participants.
Interested leaders, counselors, or facilitators of counseling and support groups should call the Morikami Museum at 561-495-0233, extension 235, for more information or to find out how to register for the program.