Julie Casey MSW, RSW

Wellness Care Farm

Nourishing Hearts

Nourishing Hearts is cultivating a sensory healing garden and  trail. A sensory garden is a garden environment that is designed with the purpose of stimulating the senses. Sensory trails, like sensory 

gardens, are sometimes seen as ‘an access improvement’ intended 

for people with disabilities, specifically sensory impairments. While 

there is no doubt that enabling sensory exploration can make a place or an experience more accessible, encouraging people to use their senses is of benefit to all ages and abilities.This stimulation occurs 

courtesy of plants and the use of materials that engage one’s senses of sight, smell, touch, taste, and sound. Sensory gardens and trails 

are popular with and beneficial to both children and adults, especiallythose who have sensory processing issues, including autism, 

acquired brain injury, dementia and other disabilities. 

A sensory garden and trails can be very therapeutic for people who 

experience sensory problems. It may be used as a calming place  and as a gentle way to stimulate the senses. This type of 

environment can become a place where people with autism and 

other sensory processing disorders feel safe and comfortable in 

exploring their senses without feeling overwhelmed by them. For 

people who are hyper reactive to stimuli, the sensory garden 

provides a relaxing environment, and for people who tend to be 

under reactive to stimuli, the garden is a great way to stimulate 

the senses. For people who do not live with a disability, a sensory 

garden is beneficial in that it is a fun educational tool that allows 

them to explore and learn about their senses and nature. In people 

with dementia, sensory gardens can help keep them calm and 

interested, and these gardens also help to keep all of one’s senses 

aroused.While in the garden or on the trail, people are encouraged 

to touch, smell, taste, and generally interact with the environment 

around them. 

 Sensory Healing Garden & Trail

  • Give people the opportunity and the excuse to listen, touch, smell and look, more closely
  • Bring a place to life for all visitors including people with sensory impairments
  • Encourage physical activity
  • Tell a story, weave a tale and bring a myth to life
  • Be the basis for an education experience, facilitating learning outside the classroom
  • Build memories and make connections
  • Open up eyes, ears and nostrils and get hands out of pockets
  • Draw attention to new areas, points of interest, seasonal changes and highlights

Who can benefit from sensory gardens and trails?

Why engage the senses?

Every experience is formed by our senses and every memory is an experience we carry with us. By encouraging people to use their senses we encourage them to enrich their experience and build stronger, deeper, more meaningful, connections and memories. In short, the more senses we engage the more we remember. And it’s fun too.

What can a sensory gardens and trail do?

Sensory gardens and trails can:

Click HERE to learn more about

Quad County Support Services.

Thank you to Quad County youth who generously volunteered Tuesday mornings throughout the summer with the sensory garden installation.

We made a great start to build on next summer!