Ecological landscape professionals have long understood the connection between healthy landscapes and human health. Landscape Architect, Tom Benjamin, takes this connection one step further by creating therapeutic wellness gardens in the midst of healing facilities such as the Kent Hospital in Rhode Island. In this webinar, Tom Benjamin will share his insights and the techniques that he has used to integrate human “well-being” and environmental health into wellness designs for heavily developed sites. Tom’s presentation will cover the planning, implementation, and maintenance of therapeutic wellness gardens as components of campus scale efforts to transform conventional landscapes to green infrastructure. As part of the overall design, he will cover passive stormwater management, soil rejuvenation, habitat enhancement, aesthetic and maintenance considerations, and the nexus between human wellness and the health of the environment. Innovative methods of reusing onsite materials to reduce our carbon footprint and control Operations & Maintenance costs will be addressed as well. The role of sustainable landscapes to inspire larger facility-wide sustainability initiatives will also be discussed.
Thomas (Tom) Benjamin is an independent registered Landscape Architect and LEED Accredited Professional (AP BD+C) practicing design and sustainability consulting and is Principal of Wellnesscapes. Tom has more than 20 years experience in environmental design and sustainability work often focused on green design, including energy, waste, water and food systems. In addition to residential restoration, Tom’s site planning work emphasizes low cost, low maintenance landscape solutions for healthcare, academic and senior institutions, public facilities, commercial and residential developments, large-scale solar farms and community farms/gardens. His work has often encompassed enhancement of natural stormwater filtration systems. His design experience includes upland, wetland, and coastal zone restoration using low tech bioengineering solutions. Tom teaches sustainable landscape design at the University of Massachusetts. He is the recipient of multiple awards, including three for his sustainable landscape design work at Kent Hospital located in Warwick, RI. Tom is also a Board Member of the Ecological Landscape Alliance (ELA).