bringing nature to the people of CHOC through the implementation of healing gardens
The Children’s Health of Orange County, is located in Orange, California, which is abbreviated to CHOC for short. The CHOC campus is around 8.7 acres, including the parking structures that are located south of the main Bill Holmes Tower. CHOC is in a very urban setting, which prompted me to look into the percentage of urban canopy cover within this space. Overall, Orange is 21.45% canopy cover, but if you look specifically at the location where CHOC is, the cover is much less than its surroundings. This then got me thinking about how the CHOC campus could redefine what a hospital can be, not only through the services and amenities it provides, but also with how it can aid in bettering the environment around it. When looking at the population density and the tree disparity index, which helps cities assess how well they are delivering equitable tree canopy cover to all residents, the city of Orange showed that they have a high population density with a low percentage of tree cover. A similar outcome occurred when looking at the young children population and tree disparity index as well. Because CHOC is a children’s hospital, there is an opportunity to capitalize on this through the implementation of various healing gardens throughout the campus that can aid in the healing of the patients, visitors, and staff while also looking to increase the tree canopy cover percentage within the area. Healing gardens work in a unique way by enticing the 5 senses in vegetative spaces to aid the mental and physical healing of the individual. These gardens do this by restoring physical strengths and providing mental relaxation through things such as color, texture, form, movement, light, or shadows. Some goals that I have for this project are to create multifunctional spaces that can benefit a variety of children, visitors, and staff no matter their physical or mental state as well as provide them “victory” opportunities such as completing a looped path or growing their own vegetables. The main slogan at CHOC is “long live childhood,” and I hope to capitalize on this to show them that they can do the impossible to encourage and inspire growth and health for all.