Healthcare Garden Design Certificate Program FAQs

What is the program about?

You will discover the many ways gardens provide verifiable health benefits for 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.

What is especially unique about this program?

  • One of the most comprehensive professional development certificates on the topic of healthcare garden design
  • Speakers and faculty consist of national experts from multi-disciplinary fields including research, healthcare, and landscape design.
  • Curriculum includes evidence-based design and interactive learning
  • Resources and onsite laboratory of the inspiring Chicago Botanic Garden setting

Who should participate? 

Healthcare garden design is an area of specialization in which several professions converge to create environments of care.  The Healthcare Garden Design Certificate program benefits from having participants from a variety of fields creating a real-world multidisciplinary collaborative experience.

What careers have been represented?

  • Landscape architects, landscape designers, architects, and interior designers
  • Horticulturalists, landscape contractors, grower/producers, land managers, conservationists
  • Healthcare professions – doctors, nurses, therapists (horticultural therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, recreational therapists), extended care providers, activity and recreation directors, healthcare executives, facility or program administrators, development and marketing directors, and consultants
  • Professors, educators, scientists, researchers, graduate students in related fields

Do I need to have previous professional or academic experience in healthcare garden design?

No.  The program attracts professionals and students from a wide variety of disciplines, which enhances the curriculum by providing different expertise and perspectives in topic discussions.

What is the program design?

Gardens that Heal: A Prescription for Wellness

The Healthcare Garden Design Certificate program begins with a one-day seminar titled, “Gardens that Heal: A Prescription for Wellness”.   You can register separately for the one-day seminar, however the seminar is included as the first day of the eight-day Healthcare Garden Design Certificate Program.  You will discover current research on the benefits of nature to human health and wellness.  The Gardens that Heal seminar also provides a critical foundation in healthcare garden design.

Healthcare Garden Design Certificate Program

Working in multidisciplinary teams that reflect the real world of healthcare garden design, your learning is reinforced through case studies, group projects, site visits, lectures, and instruction from experts in healthcare garden-related professions.  This is an intensive eight-day certificate program with some evenings of programming. Upon completion, students will have the knowledge and tools to effectively design and evaluate healthcare gardens for the desired populations.

Can you highlight some content topics covered in the course?

  • Types of healthcare gardens and their defining characteristics
  • Current research and evidence-based design for healthcare gardens
  • Design elements and select plants to incorporate in successful garden design
  • Case studies in healthcare garden design highlighting successes and challenges
  • Passive and active garden experiences for positive health outcomes
  • Characteristics of user groups (patients, family, visitors, and staff) and how they benefit from effective healthcare garden design
  • 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
  • Apply healthcare garden design principles to restorative gardens and public landscapes 

Where is the program located?

The Gardens that Heal seminar and Healthcare Garden Design Certificate Program take place at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, Illinois. If you are not from the Chicagoland area, you will want to arrive the day before the certificate program begins.  If you plan to spend time in Chicago, we recommend arriving at least a couple days prior to the start of the certificate program or extending your stay after the conclusion of the course to enjoy the city.

Gardens that Heal Seminar

The one-day seminar will be held in Alsdorf Auditorium of the Regenstein Center at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Healthcare Garden Design Certificate

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.

What does the cost of the Healthcare Garden Design Certificate program include?

The registration fee for the eight-day program includes the Gardens that Heal seminar, Healthcare Garden Design Certificate Program, daily parking fees, classroom learning materials and supplies, transportation to fields sites, and select meals.  Participants are responsible for their travel to the Chicago Botanic Garden, overnight accommodations, required reading materials, and meals.    

What hotel accommodations do you recommend?

The Joseph Regenstein, Jr. School of the Chicago Botanic Garden recommends the Renaissance Chicago North Shore Hotel for hotel accommodations given their proximity and guest experience.  A block of rooms at a special reduced rate is set aside for program registrants. After registration, students of the Healthcare Garden Design Certificate Program will receive information on the process for reserving a room under the block.

Do you offer professional development credits for participating in the programs?

We will gladly provide a letter confirming participation in the Gardens that Heal Seminar or Healthcare Garden Design Certificate program that you can utilize for self-reporting professional development continuing education hours.


The Joseph Regenstein, Jr. School of the Chicago Botanic Garden is registered with the American Society of Landscape Architects as an LA CES™-approved provider. Please check state mandatory continuing education requirements to ensure this course is compatible with your state requirements. More information can be found at


For additional information about the program, contact Carissa Ilg at (847) 835-8293 or Click here to show mail address.

Healthcare Garden Design Certificate Program