“Just a quiet walk among the trees is sometimes all I need to get a fresh look at things.”

Gentle breezes, shaded walkways, dappled sunlight and the wafting scents of wildflowers can be a comfort and respite from stress and pain for patients, families and even hospital staff. Once considered tangential to medical treatment, gardens and green spaces are now included in the design of most new hospitals.

The Annapolis Community Health Centre Auxiliary is leading a project to provide a restorative walking trail in a wooded section adjacent to the Health Centre. Thanks to community partnerships much has been achieved. The debris has been cleared, a picnic area has been created and a wheelchair-accessible trail winds along the Annapolis River. As well as a place to recharge spiritually and physically, the trail offers a private space for patients and family to gather to discuss important issues and, in sad times, to grieve.

While a walk by the river won’t cure disease or heal injured limbs, there is good evidence that time spent in the great outdoors can reduce levels of pain and stress and boost the immune system. As one enthusiastic patient put it, “Just a quiet walk among the trees is sometimes all I need to get a fresh look at things.”


Total cost of the project is close to $12,000, and many local businesses and groups have leant their support, including a large donation from the Annapolis Royal Lions Club. General contractors CN Orde and Sons cleaned up the property and provided trail material. Thexton’s Nursery and Bunchberry Nurseries have supplied plants and ongoing gardening advice, while DJ Lowe Paving worked on accessible trails.

Pictured above: Rosanne Peach, past-president of the ACHC Auxiliary; Glenda Robinson, Site Administrative Assistant and Dr. Daniel Marsh, Health Services Manager, Annapolis Community Health Centre, take a short rest along the trail. Photo by: Heather Killen, Annapolis County Spectator.