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Healthy Minds, Healthy Landscapes

Greening Australia and Dementia Australia have joined together to continue to provide weekly outdoor, environmental volunteer activities for people living with Dementia.

The unique project is an invaluable way to engage and support people living with the condition while giving them a meaningful way to connect with nature.

The in-nursery activities enable participants to improve self-esteem, well-being and cognitive functioning when planning and carrying out responsibilities. They also play a vital role in reducing depressive symptoms and re-engaging members with the community.

men and women volunteering in seed nursery

One member, worried about attending on their first day said, “I had nothing to do before I started and then somebody suggested this, and it was just perfect. It was exactly what I wanted.”

As well as significant benefits for those involved, the project will directly help towards environmental rehabilitation and restoration of the ACT and surrounding region by assisting in the growing of 120,000 native seedlings – a rewarding and enriching result for many members.

So far, positive feedback confirms the success and impact of the weekly sessions. A program member said, “Through the Dementia Australia and Greening Australia project I weed and prepare native trees and shrubs for replanting across the ACT. This work is ideal for me as I meet great guys each week and I get to work with nature.”

men and women volunteering in seed nursery

Thanks to welcomed funding from the Mazda Foundation, we have been given the opportunity to continue the program. All members diagnosed with dementia will now be given the chance to be involved in the program, regardless of age.

For more information about the Mazda Foundation, visit the website here.

Through our Nature In Cities program, we are engaging communities across Australia to create greener, more liveable urban areas and bring nature back to our cities.

Read more about Nature in Cities