The Springs Memory Care Garden – The Dalles, OR


The Springs is an Memory Care Conversion project within an existing Assisted Living Center in The Dalles, Oregon. The Memory Care Garden was designed to provide a private outdoor space for the residents of the Memory Care Unit. Special considerations were given to the components of this garden in order to provide a outdoor environment that is tailored to address the needs of the resident group.

Specifically tailored components include the plant palette, circular pathways and interactive water feature.  The  plant palette was developed to provide a safe, non-toxic outdoor space filled with plants that provide 4 seasons of interest and sensory stimulation, while requiring minimal care.   The circular pathway is wide, to allow for a resident to stroll alongside an attendant or family member through the garden.  Varied seating opportunities are provided along the wide circular pathways; under the arbor, around the water feature, and along the path.  The water feature is a stainless steel sphere, with potable water that gently bubbles up and over the surface of the sphere before falling through a tree grate and into a catchment below.  The  sphere itself reflects the colors of the garden, while the sound of the gently gurgling water fills the air.  The feature is designed to allow residents to safely “touch”  the water, without getting too wet.

A residential style fence, designed by the project architect, William Wilson Architects, P.C., provides a warm sense of comfort and security for the residents, without feeling institutional.  The wood arbor ties the fence and the garden together, and adds to the residential atmosphere.  The garden was completed in the fall of 2013.

Click here DSCF1007 to see and hear the water feature