Stroll for Well-Being

The Stroll for Well-Being Therapeutic Garden Walking program provides a full year of unlimited visits to Morikami, for participants to immerse themselves in the natural beauty, peace and serenity of the gardens.

Therapeutic Garden Walking Program

Morikami’s FREE Stress Reducing Therapeutic Walking Program

The benefits of therapeutic garden walks:

  • Reduced feelings of sadness, hopelessness, fear and loneliness
  • Greater feelings of acceptance, optimism and joy

Participants will receive*:

  • A one-year COMPLIMENTARY “dual” membership
  • Guided journal
  • 3 support group meetings with facilitator

*subject to completion of program see application for details

Dr. Ruth McCaffrey, Professor of the College of Nursing at Florida Atlantic University helped establish this transformative program at Morikami. A hand-selected qualified facilitator will lead participants through themed walks and journal writing to encourage reflection, and ultimately, personal well-being. The program is generously funded by Astellas Pharma US, Inc. and open to those seeking a better quality of life.

Sessions and Dates

Future dates to be announced.

About The Walks

The Meetings

Garden strolls begin following an initial group meeting with a facilitator to acquaint participants with how the program works and to distribute the guidebook/journals. Two other group meetings with the facilitator also take place during a 3-month period.

The Journal

The guidebook/journal presents several themed walks that identify points along the way at which to pause, reflect and experience a sense of ease. Walks are based on such themes as awareness, trust, possibility, joy and fulfillment, and are designed to elicit reflection on one’s life. Space in the guidebook/journal allows participants to record their thoughts on these and other topics.

The Membership

Participants in the program have unlimited opportunities for up to a year to visit Morikami to leisurely stroll the garden path, and enjoy the peace and serenity that the garden has to offer. Strolling the garden itself is entirely a personal activity. Participants in the program may visit the garden at any time during regular museum and garden hours as often as they wish, but are encouraged to visit at least twice a week during the first eight weeks. Memberships paid for by Astellas Pharma US, Inc. are “dual” memberships so participants may bring a companion with whom to share the experience.

Program Policy

1.    Astellas Stroll for Well Being Program is a supplementary program, participants are encouraged to continue and pursue individual/group counseling outside of this service.
2.    Participation in this Astellas-funded program is offered to NEW participants only.
3.    This program involves mild physical activity, walking on garden paths (gravel).
4.    At the first meeting, you will receive your journal and a temporary Morikami “dual” membership.
5.    It is required that you attend all 3 meetings and participate in a minimum of 3 individual walks. At the final meeting you will receive your 1-year “dual” membership. Failure to meet these guidelines may jeopardize your receipt of this membership.

About Astellas

Astellas is a pharmaceutical company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products. Astellas’ culture and brand is committed to building community, helping others, encouraging integrity and inspiring people to make a difference, today, tomorrow and every day. Astellas promotes activities that contribute to the good of society and that help create a dialogue with local communities in various fields, including science, healthcare, welfare, education, environment, and culture.

Since 2011, generous support from Astellas has enabled Morikami to develop its therapeutic garden walks and provide this unique program to members of non-profit counseling and support groups throughout the community.

For Counselors

Dear Counselors,

If you are the leader of a counseling, support, therapy group or provide individual counseling that serves those who are experiencing stress, symptoms of depression, or mental exhaustion, this program may appeal to you and the participants of your group. Astellas Pharma US, Inc. has agreed to fund the costs of a one-year museum membership and the guidebook/journal that is used during walks in the garden to allow not-for-profit counseling and support groups to take advantage of the Japanese gardens at Morikami, and the therapeutic garden walking program  free of charge.

Past participants include: cancer patients and others who are undergoing rehabilitative treatments and therapies, veterans, bereavement support groups, caregivers, and those with substance abuse issues. Participants must be recommended by leaders, counselors, or facilitators of such groups.

New sessions of the garden walking program:

Future dates to be announced

The Study

Research Study

In 2006 Morikami conducted a research study with Florida Atlantic University’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, generously funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, culminating in the establishment of the Stroll for Well-being program. In 2011, the Astellas USA Foundation awarded a grant to extend the program to the participants of non-profit health, wellness and counseling programs who are likely to benefit from reflective walks, but are financially unable to afford this service.

A Manual for Developing a Public Program

Recognizing both the trend in society toward a greater incidence of depression among elders, and the need for self-directed methods of alleviating the symptoms of depression, the designers of the study sought to compare the effects of two kinds of “interventions” involving regular garden visits against a third intervention utilizing art therapy. (An intervention is a set of activities intended for the purpose of alleviating depression.) Researchers undertook the study to determine whether or not garden visits were as effective as, or more effective than, art therapy in relieving symptoms of depression in older adults. Art therapy has been shown to decrease depression in the elderly by allowing elders to express feelings of sadness and loss.

This manual was developed to inform museums, gardens and public facilities about the study undertaken by Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in collaboration with the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing that examined the effect of healing gardens and art therapy on older adults with mild to moderate depression. This manual is intended for the use of other organizations as a guide in developing a program, or other instrument, based on the results of the Morikami study that can be offered to the public to meet a need in society as a nonstandard way for the institution to serve the public. The kinds of institutions that this manual might benefit include public gardens, museums with horticultural features or gardens attached as part of their facilities, historic or restored homes with attached gardens, zoological parks, botanical gardens, and nature centers.

Download the Manual


“This was a wonderful program. It has helped me relieve stress and regain some of my determination to do more things.” L.V.

“I was able to handle a stressful situation in a different way. Instead of reaching for the medication I thought back to the Morikami and was able to calmly make a decision.” T.F.

“This program forced me out of the house which helped alleviate some of the sadness I was having.” K.M.

“Excellent program, [it] gives one a sense of self confidence and at the same time a support group to achieve goals. Slow walking around the area gave me the life energy to start regaining strength and awareness.” V.G.


  • The complimentary Stroll for Well-Being Program, generously funded by Astellas Pharma US, Inc., was created for individuals undergoing life transitions, experiencing stress, symptoms of depression or mental exhaustion and already seeking a better quality of life through non-profit counseling and support groups.
  • Past participants include patients undergoing rehabilitative treatments and therapies, cancer patients and survivors, those with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s (along with immediate family/caregivers), active duty and retired veterans (and their families), first responders (and their families), caregivers, those going through addiction recovery, parents of children with autism.
  • The Stroll for Well-Being Program is not intended for exercise but rather internal reflection through the simple of art of walking in nature inspired by the art of Japanese “Forest Bathing”. Morikami Gardens includes a circular path, 7/8 of a mile, although completing the path is NOT a requirement, participants should feel comfortable walking on gravel paths (see question #8 regarding wheelchairs/walkers).

  • Participants will be accepted on a first come first served basis after filling out and submitting an application.

Application and future dates to be announced.

  • We understand in this climate it’s not always possible to get to a doctor/therapist. For alternate options on how to apply, please contact project coordinator, Vanessa Rosen at or ‪(561) 501-1048

  • It is absolutely FREE! Thanks to Astellas Pharma US, Inc., Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens is able to offer the program at no cost to you.
  • Since 2011, generous support from Astellas has enabled Morikami to develop its therapeutic garden walks and provide this unique program to members of non-profit counseling and support groups throughout the community.

  • Participants of the SFWB program will receive a journal/guide (yours to keep), meet for 3 facilitated group meetings once a month (indoors) & are encouraged to take walks on their own time with temporary complimentary “dual” membership.
  • Fulfillment of the program requires participants to attend all three meetings and three individual walks. At the third meeting participants will receive a 1-YEAR “dual” membership to continue the walks after the program has ended.
  • See application for exact meeting dates/times.

  • During museum hours, Tues-Sun 10-5. The museum is closed on Mondays as well as on certain holidays and special events.  Click here for Morikami Hours

  • Participants will be able to choose:
  • Mornings (11AM-12:30PM) or afternoons (1:30PM-3PM)
  • Wednesdays or Saturdays
  • “Fall” (Oct-Dec) or “Winter” (Jan-Mar)
  • See application (link) for current dates.
  • Meetings are all held indoors, in classroom A rain or shine.

  • Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens welcomes all visitors, including people with disabilities, older adults, and veterans. Morikami is wheelchair accessible (but wheelchairs are not provided) in accordance with provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA):
  • A push button is available to automatically open the main entrance door.
  • The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens is predominately ADA accessible in all areas of the Museum and areas closest to the Main  Museum. The garden path consists of compacted natural material and may not be suitable to every visitors’ ability to navigate the 7/8 mile in its entirety. Wheelchairs with larger than standard tires are recommended.
  • Park benches are located throughout the gardens for all visitors’ comfort.
  • Accessible parking is located near the museum’s main entrance.
  • Ramp access to the gardens is located at the south end of the Cornell Café.

  • A “dual” membership will be provided at the first meeting. Participants must show photo ID and can bring one guest each time they visit the gardens.

  • 7/8 of a mile, although you are not required to walk the entirety of the garden in order to enjoy the program (see question #1 for more details)

  • Pets are not allowed inside the museum or garden. We comply with all ADA requirements and accept service animals as defined by the ADA. Service animals are defined as dogs or miniature horses that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Emotional support, therapy, comfort, or companion animals are not allowed, as they are not classified as service animals by the ADA.

Item added to cart.
0 items - $0.00

We are open!

We have reopened to the general public, but we have suspended all public programs and large gatherings through September 30.
Health & Safety Guidelines
Share →

Send this to a friend