Columbine Health Supports the Vital Role of Outdoor Spaces in Senior Living
Columbine Health Supports the Vital Role of Outdoor Spaces in Senior Living

Columbine Health Systems

Joyce Hahn

Joyce Hahn, a resident at The Worthington for two years, explains how she has loved the flower combinations and bright colors each flower bed has created.

The ladies of The Gardening Club

The ladies of The Gardening Club smile happily during their meeting while enjoying the warm weather and comfortable patio area at The Worthington. (Pictured right to left: Sue Winsor, Geri Masten, Joyce Hahn, Barbara, Denise Kidd, Betty Clark, Terry, and

Many studies highlight the therapeutic benefits of nature for seniors. Exposure to green spaces reduce stress, improve mood, & enhance cognitive function.

The gardeners really enjoy being out in the sunshine and caring for the plants all summer long. It makes them noticeably more energetic and happier.”

— Denise Kidd, Activity Director at The Worthington Independent Living

FORT COLLINS, CO, USA, June 21, 2024 / — Numerous studies highlight the therapeutic benefits of nature, particularly for seniors. Exposure to green spaces can significantly reduce stress, improve mood, and enhance cognitive function. At Columbine Health, beautifully maintained gardens and green areas offer residents a tranquil retreat where they can enjoy the soothing effects of nature. Whether it’s a morning walk through the gardens or simply sitting among the flowers, these outdoor spaces provide a daily escape that promotes overall well-being.

Active Living Through Gardening

Columbine Health encourages residents to engage in outdoor activities which have both physical and mental benefits. Gardening is a low-impact exercise that helps maintain mobility, balance, and coordination, crucial for seniors’ physical health. Additionally, it provides an excellent source of Vitamin D, essential for bone health and mood regulation. The act of planting, tending, and watching plants grow fosters a sense of purpose and accomplishment, enhancing emotional well-being.

At The Worthington Independent Living Community, the Gardening Club is a thriving example of how gardening can build community and improve quality of life. Residents like Betty Clark find joy and satisfaction in working with flowers and plants. “I have always loved to garden, and this club gives me time to spend outside and connect with others,” she says. The club’s activities not only provide a creative outlet but also encourage social interactions, fostering a strong sense of community.

In addition to nurturing flowers and decorative plants, members of The Gardening Club at The Worthington have the opportunity to cultivate gardens with a diverse array of fruits and vegetables. As early as late winter, members begin planning their garden layouts, eagerly anticipating the planting season from mid-April to May. They work hard to raise a variety of crops, including juicy peppers, tomatoes, fragrant herbs, cucumbers, sweet peas, eggplant, and more.
These gardens not only enhance the beauty of The Worthington but also yield an abundance of fresh produce. The fruits and vegetables are provided to the facility’s kitchens, where they are used to prepare delicious meals for the community.

Vibrant, Sustainable Landscapes

Columbine Health is dedicated to sustainability and is continuously working on projects to enhance the environment. Initiatives such as reducing water usage through the transformation of grassy areas into gardens of native and low-water-use plants are examples of this commitment. Supported by the City of Fort Collins and the Xeriscape Incentive Program, these efforts not only beautify the community but also contribute to local wildlife corridors, ensuring that Columbine Health remains an eco-friendly and aesthetically pleasing place for senior living.

Residents take pride in these sustainable gardens, which not only add beauty to their surroundings but also play a part in conservation efforts. Several of The Gardening Club members are originally from Colorado, bringing familiarity with local plants to their work. By selecting native species, residents can weave their personal stories into the gardens at The Worthington while supporting their local ecosystem.

The shift towards using native plants and creating water-efficient landscapes reflects Columbine Health’s commitment to being a responsible steward of the environment, aligning with broader community values. Columbine Health’s initiatives help to foster a shared commitment within the area for a more sustainable future.

A Community that Connects

Beyond the benefits of gardening and nature, Columbine Health offers a variety of programs and activities that cater to residents’ diverse interests. From walking paths lined with trees and flowers to patio gardens that provide serene spaces for relaxation, Columbine Health ensures that nature is an integral part of daily life. The location of communities near beautiful areas like Lake Loveland and Benson Sculpture Park further enhances residents’ access to outdoor beauty and recreational opportunities.

Denise Kidd, the Activity Director at The Worthington Independent Living Community, highlights the positive impact of these outdoor activities: “The gardeners really enjoy being out in the sunshine and caring for the plants all summer long. It makes them noticeably more energetic and happier.” These activities not only enhance physical health but also offer emotional benefits, providing residents with a sense of purpose and opportunities for social engagement.

Residents of Columbine Health discover that engaging in outdoor activities with others is a positive experience. Joyce Hehn, a resident of The Worthington and active member of the Gardening Club, enjoys connecting with her fellow members amidst the beauty of nature. “The people here are so nice, and I love being able to have something to work on with my hands.”

Enriching Life Through Nature

At Columbine Health, outdoor spaces are designed to enrich the lives of residents by providing opportunities for physical activity, social interaction, and connection with nature. The emphasis on creating and maintaining vibrant, sustainable landscapes reflects a broader commitment to the holistic well-being of seniors. By integrating nature into the fabric of daily life, Columbine Health ensures that residents can enjoy a fulfilling and enriching experience.

Kidd acknowledges the positive impact The Gardening Club, and activities alike, have on their residents during the year. “They thoroughly like showing off the flowers and how beautiful it makes an otherwise dull area.” The opportunity to nurture a project and witness its growth fosters a sense of fulfillment, uplifting moods and brightening residents’ spirits.

The Gardening Club at The Worthington isn’t confined to the facility; they also venture out to explore various outdoor spaces around Fort Collins. Past excursions have included visits to the Gardens at Spring Creek and the Cheyenne Botanical Gardens. These outings are a vital part of Columbine Health’s commitment to providing easy access to nature, which is crucial for enhancing both physical and mental well-being among residents.

With its dedication to creating beautiful, sustainable outdoor spaces and fostering a strong sense of community, Columbine Health stands out as the premier choice for senior living. The commitment to enhancing both the environment and the quality of life for residents makes Columbine Health the ideal place for those seeking a vibrant, nature-connected lifestyle in their senior years.

Andrea Walker
Columbine Health Systems
+1 970-449-5541
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