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Seven Hills Pediatric Center: Implementing a Sensory Garden for Multi-Sensory Cognitive Development

Welcome to our Implementing A Sensory Garden team page. Our Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP) involved our team to develop an interactive outdoor environment for the residents at Seven Hills Pediatric Center (SHPC). Working in collaboration with the staff of SHPC, we used a human-centered design approach to identify the needs of residents, and design features and a landscape that best fit with the requirements.

Project Sponsor: Seven Hills Pediatric Center

SHPC is a non-profit affiliate of the Seven Hills Foundation. SHPC works 24/7 to help the residents of various cognitive and physical disabilities reach their fullest potential. They provide around the clock nursing, medical, education and habilitative services. At the time of our project SHPC employs approximately 230 individuals and serves approximately 82 children and young adults.

During our project, Mary Cassidy Conway, Director of Education & Therapy at SHPC, and Brian Heath, OTA, worked with us to help develop final designs for the residents. Ms. Conway’s responsibilities fall under organizing the daily activities and health needs of the residents, ensuring their continued progress and pleasant experience. Brian Heath’s responsibilities are providing therapeutic care to various residents.

Student Researchers

Left to right: Jacqueline Forson, Alexander O’Neil, Alexander Kant, Jacob Nichols, Emily Riendeau

Project Goals and Objectives

Project Goal: This project aims to assist the clients at Seven Hills Pediatric Center by designing an outdoor interactive space that incorporates universal design principles, and appealed to the cognitive growth and development of the residents. To complete our goal we produced designs and prototypes of recreational activities that integrate educational aspects that meets the accommodations for individuals with various spectrums of cognitive, physical, and developmental disabilities.


  • Identify the physical needs and requested accommodations of clients at Seven Hills Pediatric Center;
  • Determine design criteria and develop landscape designs and features;
  • Evaluating and implementing landscape designs and features.
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