Therapiegarten Schweizer Paraplegiker-Stiftung

Therapy garden – the source of strength in nature

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Humans care for nature and nature cares for humans

For the Swiss Paraplegic Foundation, the aim of the therapy garden is to bridge a gap in the concept of comprehensive rehabilitation. New forms of outdoor treatment harness the positive effect of nature and create greater affinity to everyday tasks at home. 

Nature, a source of strength for people with a spinal cord injury

The Swiss Paraplegic Foundation places great value on spending time in and drawing strength from nature. For many people, gardening provides a varied balance to everyday life. It offers the opportunity for people to slow down, to design their surroundings themselves, and simply to enjoy nature. 
The provision of a therapy garden aims to offer people with a spinal cord injury the opportunity to participate actively in the garden. Whether planting salad seeds, pruning bushes, or picking herbs, the patient switches from being cared for to being the carer. In contrast to classic therapies that take place in enclosed clinical spaces, spending time in a green space close to nature feels less like therapy and more like a useful everyday activity for the person living with a spinal cord injury. 


Details of garden therapy

The therapy garden in Nottwil will be accessible from the existing therapy hall on the ground floor. Three large areas of application have been planned: 

Garden therapy

The garden therapy area will comprise roll-under raised beds, a herb garden, berries, and a greenhouse. This is where patients will work directly with nature as they look after and design it. At the same time, they will be solving a wide range of therapy tasks that may also include complete processes from sowing to harvesting.

Wheelchair trail

The wheelchair trail will consist of the most varied obstacles and ground surfaces that need to be overcome on a circular course, including tram tracks, drain covers and manholes, gutters, gravel surfaces and forest floors, unstable and sloping surfaces, pavements, inclines, and steps. A special station will provide instruction on how to board a train. Electric traction devices will be installed in everyday applications to practise moving over uneven surfaces.

Activity area

For participants who are able to walk, the activity area will provide a walking trail with varyingly challenging surfaces. It is also a place that will allow people to withdraw for quiet conversations, e.g. with a psychologist or a counsellor. This means that the activity area will also be an oasis for special encounters and psychosocial healing processes.

Gartentherapie Schweizer Paraplegiker-Stiftung

Garden therapy (1), wheelchair trail (2), activity area (3). A platform by the pond (4) invites people to spend time in soothing surroundings. (Source: Hemmi Fayet Architekten)

Benefits for people living with a spinal cord injury

•    Improving physical resilience

•    Preparing for everyday life after discharge

•    Experiencing self-awareness, physical awareness, and self-efficacy

•    Dealing with the disability and adapting to everyday life (alongside others with a spinal cord injury) 

•    Removing the fear of routine confrontation with the existing disability in future 


  • Establishing the therapy garden will cost CHF 1,520,000.00. Without donations from private individuals and foundations, this offer cannot be funded.

Help people with a spinal cord injury become independent

Feel free to contact us at any time if you have any questions. We will be delighted to provide you with further information about this fantastic and extremely important project.

General donations

Our bank details

Swiss Paraplegic Foundation
6207 Nottwil

CH14 0900 0000 6014 7293 5 

PC account