Thursday, October 08, 2009

Landscaping to soothe our harried souls...can you dig it?

Landscape professionals increase their competence and marketability by gaining the knowledge and experience to earn industry certifications. National organizations provide certification opportunities as do many state associations.

Here’s a new one on us. It’s called Project NatureConnect (PNC), which is headquartered in beautiful Friday Harbor, in Washington State’s San Juan Islands. It’s not a certification program as much as an educational/learning program.

“Landscapers learn holistic gardening techniques that include teaching their clients how to use nature – connecting activities to create personal healing garden designs and therapeutic backyard landscapes that increase wellness and spirit, says the PNC.

Program Director Dr. Michael J. Cohen has published landscape studies at the PNC Web site that show that pictures of peaceful relaxing landscapes evoke calm and tranquility in most individuals. . . Better yet, the real thing — beautiful landscapes that reconnect people to nature.

“At Project NatureConnect, to become therapists, landscapers learn online, how to use and teach as many as 147 nature-reconnection activities. They use them to help their clients discover special attractions in nature that peacefully fulfill their natural senses: plants, flowers, scents, sounds, etc.,” says a release from the PNC.

The PNC offers online training, job, Masters or Ph.D. degree programs at its Institute of Global Education. According to the release, it “enables our psyche to walk nature's path to socially and environmentally responsible relationships, stress reduction and sustainable livelihoods.”

Hey, I can dig it . . . to resurrect a phrase I haven’t used since my Nehru jacket days. — Ron Hall

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