The Redwoods – Benefits of a Therapeutic Garden


We are very excited that The Redwoods, a senior living community in Mill Valley, California is nearing completion. For the past seven years, APDW has been creating and administering a new landscape design for their campus-wide renovation project. The Redwoods has provided a comfortable, beautiful, and friendly living environment for Marin County senior citizens for over 45 years. The 9 acre, 15 building campus sits in a serene, park-like setting adjacent to wetlands along the shore of the San Francisco Bay. The Redwoods community offers a model for wellness in aging programs for residents to partake and keep active. Programs at The Redwoods are designed to support the health, wellness and leisure of every resident.


Our objective was to create spaces that accommodate the physical, psychological, cultural, emotional and social needs of the seniors living at the facility.  APDW crafted an environment that is not only more sustainable, but that enhances the residents’ quality of life, as part of a campus-wide renovation project that includes new therapeutic landscape gardens and senior living amenities.

Dynamic aging includes activities for wellness:


Research shows that outdoor environments can have important restorative qualities that promote recovery from physical and mental stress. APDW sought to create an environment for the seniors that combined established therapeutic landscape research and insight from residents themselves. APDW also employed their knowledge of creating water conserving landscapes that augment the existing campus and adjacent wetlands.

Living long and well includes therapeutic landscapes that provide life enhancing experiences:


Understanding that therapeutic design requires careful consideration of accessibility, circulation and microclimates, APDW worked with BAR Architecture to create a holistic design approach by incorporating a variety of active and passive outdoor spaces to accommodate all ranges of mobility.  The crowning glory of the renovation is the new Wellness Center. The John L. Levinsohn Center for Dynamic Aging boasts state of the art fitness equipment, therapy pools and a large deck for outdoor yoga and movement classes. Active outdoor areas provide spaces for performance and exercise, while passive outdoor spaces contain improved accessible seating and native plant habitats which invite local wildlife and forge resident’s connections with nature.  Plant selections include medicinal plants associated with well-being, aromatic plants, and some of this generation’s most beloved ornamental species to help evoke memories past.


One of the most prominent new outdoor areas takes advantage of the San Francisco Bay’s ‘borrowed landscapes’, a view plaza with seating to enjoy the natural beauty of the wetlands that also connects The Redwoods community to the public wetland trail surrounding the site. We expect this new and improved therapeutic landscape to provide healing and enjoyment for residents and guests for years to come.


Learn more about The Redwoods project at the APDW website and The Redwoods: A Community of Seniors

To learn more about therapeutic landscapes check out  Therapeutic Landscapes Network website