NAMI WLA Board member Shirley Kirby made a generous donation to our NAMI WLA affiliate in honor of her brother, U.S. Air Force Sergeant Richard Dale Luehring. Her kind gift led to the creation of the Richard Luehring Healing Garden at The Big Heart Ranch in Malibu. In May 2019, NAMI WLA honored Shirley Kirby’s advocacy and commitment to providing mental health resources for our military veterans.
Randy Ryan, a U.S. Army’s XVIII Airborne Corps veteran and farmer, led a team of volunteers over many weeks to build and grow the Healing Garden at the Big Heart Ranch. He engaged the Boys and Girls Scouts, local community and corporate sponsors, Starbuck employees, and other military volunteers for the garden installation. It now serves as a healing sensory experience for military veterans, NAMI WLA members and others who would like to visit the garden.
The Benefits of the Garden
The Healing Garden provides a connection with animals and nature, which is know to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Spending time in nature is good for our mental health, and there are additional benefits from the act of gardening. Find out more: “10 Mental Health Benefits of Gardening” (Psychology Today).