Healthcare Garden Design Certificate Program

May 13 – 20, 2020

Who should participate?
Landscape architects, garden designers, architects, and interior designers; healthcare executives, program administrators, development and marketing directors, and consultants; nurses, therapists, extended care providers, and activity and recreation directors; graduate students in related fields

Healthcare garden design is an emerging area of specialization in which several professions converge to create environments of care. In this professional development program, attendees will discover the many ways gardens provide verifiable health benefits for their patients, staff, and visitors. The multidisciplinary program introduces the latest research in healthcare garden design, demonstrating the benefits of healthcare gardens while providing participants with the expertise, knowledge, and tools to effectively design, manage, and evaluate such gardens. These garden environments of care maximize the effectiveness of clinical treatments for illness and disabilities, and create passive garden experiences that significantly reduce staff stress and absenteeism, improve patient health, increase client satisfaction, and strengthen the bottom line. 

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Program Design

This eight-day program includes case studies, group projects, field trips, lectures, and instruction from experts from healthcare garden-related professions. Working in multidisciplinary teams that reflect the real world of healthcare garden design, your learning will be reinforced through tours of healthcare facilities in greater Chicago. The session includes lectures, group projects, case studies, and field trips. Experts from the healthcare garden-related professions provide program instruction. You will work in multidisciplinary teams that reflect the real world of healthcare garden design, and your learning will be reinforced through tours of healthcare facilities in greater Chicago.

Program Content

The program begins with a special full-day seminar on "Gardens That Heal: A Prescription for Wellness," designed as a starting point for those participating in the full program, and as an introduction for professionals not requiring full certification.

Specific Content Elements

  • Types of healthcare gardens and their defining characteristics
  • Research, evidence-based design, and post-occupancy evaluation
  • Passive and active garden experiences for positive health outcomes
  • Characteristics of user groups (patients, family, visitors, and staff) and how they benefit
  • How to reduce staff stress and increase satisfaction, retention, and recruitment
  • Universal design, ADA, barrier-free design, regulations, codes, and specifications
  • Integration of gardens into new and existing healthcare campus landscapes
  • Connection of outdoor gardens to indoor spaces and therapeutic activities
  • Plant selection and use, equipment, materials, safety, security, and privacy
  • Construction and maintenance of new projects; performing renovations and redirecting uses of indoor and outdoor spaces, including rooftops
  • How to build winning healthcare garden design teams
  • How to succeed in the client-centered marketplace
  • Marketing, project proposals, and management; funding and resources

Program Location

The one-day seminar program will be held in the Alsdorf Auditorium of the Regenstein Center at the Chicago Botanic Garden. The eight-day professional development certificate program will be held in the Linnaeus Room of the Regenstein Center. Click here for directions to the Garden.


The Joseph Regenstein, Jr. School of the Chicago Botanic Garden recommends the Renaissance Chicago North Shore Hotel for accommodations.

Students registering for the Healthcare Garden Design Professional Development Program should not make lodging arrangements until after registering for the certificate program. A block of rooms at a special reduced rate have been set aside for program registrants. 

For additional information about the program, contact Carissa Ilg at (847) 835-8293 or