Stroll for Well-Being Program

The Stroll for Well-Being Therapeutic Garden Walking program allows for participants to immerse themselves in the natural beauty, peace and serenity of the gardens.

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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 1-year COMPLIMENTARY “dual” membership upon program completion (see application for details)
  • Guided journal
  • 3 online group meetings with facilitator (computer/phone + internet required to participate). Participants are encouraged to walk the gardens on their own time during museum hours.

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 Stroll for Well-Being 2024-2025 Program is sponsored in part by Marilyn Rothstein and Taggart Bradley and Agnes LLC.

Sessions and Dates

Participants may choose their meeting day/time preference from either:

  • WEDNESDAY meetings: ONLINE only (Excluding Orientation)
  • SATURDAY meetings: IN-PERSON only

Fall 2024 Dates

Wednesday Group Date Time
Orientation – In Garden September 25th 9:00 am – 10:00 am
Meeting 1 – Online October 9th 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Meeting 2 – Online November 6th 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Meeting 3 – Online December 4th 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Saturday Morning Group Date Time
Orientation & Meeting 1 October 12th 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Meeting 2 November 9th 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Meeting 3 December 7th 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Saturday Afternoon Group Date Time
Orientation & Meeting 1 October 12th 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Meeting 2 November 9th 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Meeting 3 December 7th 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm

Winter 2025 Dates

Wednesday Group Date Time
Orientation – In Garden January 8th 9:00 am – 10:00 am
Meeting 1 – Online January 15th 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Meeting 2 – Online February 19th 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Meeting 3 – Online March 19th 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Saturday Morning Group Date Time
Orientation & Meeting 1 January 18th 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Meeting 2 February 22nd 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Meeting 3 March 15th 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Saturday Afternoon Group Date Time
Orientation & Meeting 1 January 18th 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Meeting 2 February 22nd 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Meeting 3 March 15th 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm

Download Individual Application

Any questions or concerns please email the Project Coordinator at

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 ONE 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

Program Policy

1.    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 is offered to NEW participants only.
3.    This program involves mild physical activity, walking on garden paths (gravel).
4.    During orientation, you will receive your journal and a temporary Morikami “dual” membership.
5.  It is required that you attend orientation and all 3 meetings in addition to participating in a minimum of 3 individual walks (on your own time).  At the final meeting you will receive your 1-YEAR “dual” membership. Failure to meet these guidelines may jeopardize your receipt of this membership.

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.

For inquiries and group application please contact Ayano Hamilton, project coordinator at or ‪(561) 501-1048.

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.

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.

Current and Past Sponsors

We thank all the generous individuals and organizations who have donated to ensure the continuous success of the Stroll for Well-Being Program and supporting the well-being of the community it serves.

Individual Donors

Donors who donated a $1000 and above to the program:

  • Marilyn Rothstein
  • Cici Zahringer
  • Christine Carton
  • Taggart Bradley and Agnes LLC

Cornelia T. Bailey Foundation

The Stroll for Well-Being 2020-2021 and 2022-2023 Program was sponsored in part by the Cornelia T. Bailey Foundation which was founded in 2008 due to the generosity of Mrs. Cornelia Tarrant Bailey and is dedicated to the memory of both Mr. and Mrs. Bailey. Glenn and Cornelia enjoyed supporting philanthropic organizations centered on education, veteran outreach, medical research and most significantly the arts in all forms. Their mission is to promote the arts, education and initiatives that seek to better our world utilizing nature and the sciences. Their vision is to help ensure that communities, children and future generations have access to the arts and a quality education and to support organizations seeking to enhance the arts, improve the environment and promote quality healthcare and medical research.

Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)

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 (IMLS), culminating in the establishment of the Stroll for Well-Being program in 2008. The study showed that participants who walked the Gardens twice a week for six weeks had reduced feelings of sadness, hopelessness, fear and loneliness, and greater feelings of happiness and joy, at the end of the program.

Al Natkin

Al Natkin was a long time trustee and supporter of the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens. After participating in the Stroll for Well-Being Program, Mr. Natkin became an advocate and devoted supporter of the program. He expressed that the program changed his perspective on life, made him appreciate the present joys he overlooked, and opened his eyes to possibilities for the future. His passion led to his sponsorship of the program in 2010, in which it was offered free of charge to Palm Beach County educators. His sponsorship supported the cost of new journals, memberships for the participants, and the cost of hiring a facilitator.

Astellas USA Foundation

Astellas USA Foundation 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. From Fall 2011 to Spring 2020, 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.

        The Institute of Museum and Library Services

We are continuing are efforts to seek continued sponsorship and grants to cover the costs and again offer an annual complimentary membership to program participants. If you are interested in sponsoring our program please contact


  • The complimentary Stroll for Well-Being Program, 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.
  • WEDNESDAY meetings: ONLINE only (Afternoon meetings ONLY)
  • SATURDAY meetings: IN-PERSON only
    • Mornings (11:00 AM – 12:30 PM)
    • Afternoons (1:30 PM – 3:00 PM)
Fall 2023 Wednesdays (Online Only) Saturdays (In-Person Only)
Orientation in garden September 27 (9-10 am) September 30 (9-10 am)
Meeting 1  October 4 October 7
Meeting 2  November 1 November 4
Meeting 3  December 6 December 9
Winter 2024 Wednesdays (Online Only) Saturdays (In-Person Only)
Orientation in garden January 10 (9-10 am) January 13 (9-10 am)
Meeting 1  January 17 January 20
Meeting 2  February 21 February 24
Meeting 3  March 20 March 23

Individual Application Here

Any questions or concerns please email the Project Coordinator at

  • 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, Ayano Hamilton at or ‪(561) 501-1048.

  • It is absolutely FREE! Participants receive a Stroll journal, 1 guided orientation, 3 facilitated online meetings, and a 1-year temporary dual membership.

  • Participants of the SFWB program will receive a journal/guide (yours to keep), meet for 3 facilitated group meetings once a month (online) & are encouraged to take walks on their own time with a 1-year complimentary “dual” membership.
  • Fulfillment of the program requires participants to attend all three meetings and three individual walks.
  • NEW: Guided orientation
  • 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

  • Facilitated Meetings are offered online or in person. If you signed up for the online option, participants will need a computer/phone + Internet access for online meetings. (Meeting link + password will be emailed the week of the meeting)
  • Orientation in the garden will be held the Wednesday or Saturday in person prior to the first meeting from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM.
    At orientation, we will collect waivers, hand out journals, and membership cards and do a brisk tour of the garden. Masks and social distancing are recommended, but not required.

  • Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens welcome 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 are 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 for 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 a 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.

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