Pathstone Mental Health
St. Catharines, Ontario
Located on the east side of The Branscombe Centre, the Mountainview natural playground and healing garden incorporates a multitude of natural features, including trees, grasses and shrubs, a waterfall and a wide range of hand-carved natural wood furniture. These include seating areas carved into logs and a big rope strung between two massive fallen trees of species specifically chosen to prevent decay. There are also various-sized pockets: Spaces the children undergoing mental health treatment can seek out in which to play, talk or simply be quiet. The garden also includes a sandy play area, and located at its heart is an Indigenous healing circle designed with input from local elders. Adding to the hands-on experience, we’ve also installed a musical soundscape area with a hanging amadinda, a wind chime fence and whale drum.
Project Background, Public Input and Goals:
A truly unique space for play and nature therapy was developed after a year of consulting, fundraising, and working in a true collaboration with the therapeutic staff at Pathstone Mental Health. Our team also worked diligently with the local Indigenous community, children, youth, staff, board, and donors that make this facility the best of its kind in Ontario and the first of its kind at a children’s mental health care facility in Canada . The result is beautiful, lush, rich, private, and nurturing space that couldn’t be more appropriate to compliment the staff’s efforts at Pathstone. This is a space for all people of all ages and abilities. A space that acknowledges the healing power of a rich sensory experience in nature and the value of the natural environment.
13712 square feet
1338 Fourth Ave, St. Catharines, ON, L2R 6P9