Saturday, May 8, 2010

Update: Therapy Garden

Not so long ago, I posted about "nature deficit disorder" and my concerns for Detroit's children. As a step toward ameliorating this problem, I've talked to a contact at the Children's Center of Wayne County about establishing a therapy garden there to be used for individual and group sessions. He liked the initial idea and will "kick it around" with someone who knows more about their buildings and grounds.

This afternoon, I met with Myung Ju, a monk/architect at the Detroit Zen Center, to discuss the requirements and costs of the type of green roof that would be necessary at the Children's Center if there isn't ground-level space available for a therapy garden. She was very helpful and encouraging, although she cautioned that with the increased weight of a green roof, re-framing is necessary in many buildings. I hope to meet with someone at the Children's Center soon to learn more about their building structure and materials so that we can better estimate costs.

I was also excited to find out that the DTE building in Detroit has the same kind of green roof that we'd like for the Children's Center - high intensity, which allows for people to walk on the roof (of course, this requires more structural work because it's heavier). She also mentioned that Chicago has multiple green roofs worth visiting. If we manage to take a trip out to Milwaukee this summer to visit Growing Power and some other organizations, a stop in Chicago may be in order.

What do you think about the idea of green therapy? Have you ever seen a green roof?

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