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Concurrent Sessions 5
October 21, 2023 | 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Session 5.1  |  Session 5.2  |  Session 5.3

Session 5.1 | Certified Therapeutic Gardens in Care Homes. The Spanish Experience. 


After the pandemic situation, the Spanish authorities are supporting the care homes that have Therapeutic gardens. Due to the lack of standards and regulations of these gardens, the Spanish Association has responded to this demand setting up a certification process that guarantees minimum standards.

About the Speaker

Karin Palmlöf

Karin Palmlöf, born in Sweden, agricultural engineer at Uppsala - Ultuna (Swedish University of Agriculture, SLU).After Master in Landscape Design at the Polytechnic University of Madrid, Karin founded Palmlöf Therapeutic Gardens, a project that integrates universal design for the public park with a nature-based therapeutic methodology for Active Aging. Certificate in Healthcare Garden Design from Joseph Regenstein School – Chicago, collaboration with the Master of Environmental Psychiatry in care , SLU, Sweden.Among her executions of Therapeutic Gardens; municipal therapeutic gardens of Coslada, Fuenlabrada and Alcobendas, hospitals and more than 20 care homes for elderly. Chair of the board AEHJST and speaker at national and international conferences.

Session 5.2 | Finding Peace in the Dandelions – Micro-Engagements with Nature as A Healing Tool


In a busy world, it can be difficult to transition into a present, engaged mindset. Could micro-engagements with nature – small, purposeful acts to seek meaning or healing, help bridge the gap?

About the Speaker 

Mary Ellen Wolfe

Mary Ellen Wolfe, JD, LLM, is a speaker on mental health and loss by suicide. Her first book, Swing Set, was awarded the Illumination Award Inspirational Enduring Light Gold Medal. She is a trained Survivors Voices speaker who presented at the 2022 American Association of Suicidology Annual Conference. Mary Ellen’s second book, Yellow Flower, is in progress, and is an anthology of her six-year journey of learning to engage with nature as a healing tool.

Session 5.3 | April's Ambulant & Adaptable Therapeutic Gardens for Psychiatric Seniors

Many facilities and organizations serve seniors who are dealing with depression, psychosis and other mental health concerns. In customizing outdoor gardening areas to meet their needs specifics elements and designs are necessary. In many of these locations, creating a garden that can be easily relocated is optimal.

About the Speakers

April Ellis

April Ellis is an LCSW at the geriatric psychiatric hospital located in the San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living. She is pleased to be doing programs in the two therapeutic gardens she designed in conjunction with her internship. She is providing indoor programs with the skilled nursing units through the company ElderGrow. She received her HT certificate from HTI and was granted HTR status in March 2023. She lives in the San Francisco bay area with her lovely garden and two pet ducks.