News | Published April 30, 2014

Healing garden set to break ground this year

Concept plan designed by Derek Kalp, RLA, shows features of healing garden

Mount Nittany Health is excited to announce the plans for a unique healing garden, with a groundbreaking slated for early fall.

Mount Nittany Health’s first healing garden will be located adjacent to the Lance and Ellen Shaner Cancer Pavilion, complementing the full range of cancer services available at Mount Nittany Medical Center.

“The healing garden will provide stress relief for patients, families, physicians, and staff while offering a quiet and beautiful space for the community to enjoy,” said Kim Neely, MS, director, The Foundation for Mount Nittany Medical Center. “We offer a range of treatment services at the Shaner Cancer Pavilion, such as medical oncology, radiation oncology, and chemotherapy, and our healing garden will add emotional and spiritual therapeutic elements.”

Retired oncologist, Richard Dixon, MD, and wife, Nancy, provided the lead gift for this unique healing feature, with other community members and employees generously following suit.

Local architect Derek Kalp, RLA, is leading the design, with input from Penn State Master Gardeners, horticulturalists, arborists, physicians, and cancer survivors. Designed to be something that can be enjoyed year-round, Kalp and other advisors have studied the sun, shade, and soil of the area to ensure lush blooms and greenery. 

“There’s a great healing power in the natural, green environment, and a healing garden provides an alternative focus for patients,” said Kalp.

The garden will be bordered on two sides by the Medical Center, with plans to include a plaza, benches and seating areas, a water feature, strolling paths, and evergreen screens to distract from the parking areas.

The design development phase is expected to wrap-up in early summer. Groundbreaking for the healing garden is anticipated this fall. For more information about the healing garden, or to donate, please contact The Foundation at 814.234.6777.