Pathways Unveils Plans for New Children’s Healing Garden

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Pathways, a local nonprofit providing expert and compassionate hospice care, palliative care and grief and loss support for northern Colorado, has revealed its plans to create a Children’s Healing Garden on the east side of the Pathways Counseling Center, 305 Carpenter Rd. in Fort Collins. The $500,000 project will serve as a space for youth counseling clients to experience healing and active learning.

“Many people forget that children, like adults, grieve after experiencing trauma,” said Tammy-Brannen-Smith, Director of Grief and Loss. “But at Pathways we know that children need love and attention to heal from tragedy. The garden will engage children in therapeutic activities to help them better understand their feelings and cope with the life-death cycle.”

In 2016, Pathways for Grief and Loss cared for more than 600 children counseling clients, twice as many children served in 2015. This includes one-on-one counseling sessions, group counseling activities and involvement in all schools in the Poudre, Thompson and Weld County School Districts.

The garden will be used in collaboration with 3Hopeful Hearts and the Alliance for Suicide Prevention to give these several hundred children a safe area for navigating the grieving process. The FronTerra Group is spearheading the architecture design of the garden and will include many unique features, including an oversized “bird’s nest” with an “eggs” seating area for one-on-one counseling, outdoor seating for group therapy, various paths and crossings of different textures for interaction in narrative play therapy, a memory garden, sand play area, steps for moving between tiers; shade structures and trees, a mandala area for art therapy and many more.

The Children’s Healing Garden was announced in November 2016 at Pathways’ Fundraising Breakfast: Planting the Seeds of Our Future. This success of this project relies heavily on the generosity of sponsors and donors within the community. Many giving opportunities are available. For more information on this endeavor, please contact Tammy Brannen-Smith at (970) 292-1072 or tammy.brannen-smith@pathways-care.org.

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Design sketch of the Pathways Children’s Healing Garden, created by The FronTerra Group.