CMH Constructs Health & Wellness Park

Park to be a place of rest and relaxation for community

Healing natural space at a rural hospital in Astoria, Oregon.

The CMH Health & Wellness Park will open in late fall 2018. It will include walking paths, picnic and activity areas, and a labyrinth. (MacDonald Environmental Planning, PC)

In late August, Columbia Memorial Hospital (CMH) broke ground on a new health & wellness park.

The CMH Health and Wellness Park will be located between the hospital and the CMH-OHSU Knight Cancer Collaborative, on the site of the old John Warren Field. Construction is expected be finished by the end of the fall.

“The CMH Health and Wellness Park is a part of our strategic initiative to enhance the patient and caregiver experience, providing a place to inspire wellness,” said CEO Erik Thorsen. “Through this space, we hope to support and encourage outdoor activity, rest and relaxation for our caregivers, patients and their family members.”

The park will include walking paths, picnic and activity areas, and a labyrinth. A labyrinth is an ancient symbol of wholeness. The singular path winds in to the center of the maze and back out again, leading the traveler on a path of meditation.

Thorsen said he hopes the labyrinth will become a place of reflection and renewal for caregivers and visitors to the hospital and Cancer Collaborative.

“For years, patients and caregivers suggested that we create healing outdoor spaces to walk in,” Thorsen said. “Once we finished building the Cancer Collaborative, we realized that the greenspace between buildings offered the perfect opportunity. We’re really excited for the CMH Health and Wellness Park to open and I hope that it gets a lot of use.” 

The park was designed by MacDonald Environmental Planning of Portland and construction is being overseen by Al Jaques of CM Services Co.

“I am really excited to see the park being built. I love the idea of people being able to take a moment and walk the labyrinth, sit outside for lunch on a nice day, or go for a quick walk while waiting for someone at the hospital or cancer collaborative,” said Venus Fromwiller, CMH’s Cancer Resource Center coordinator. “The outdoor space is a great example of making healthy options accessible and encouraging all of us to do something good for our mind, body, or soul.”