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Dirtworks, PC Designs Sensory Arts Garden for the Els for Autism Foundation

The sensory arts garden will be both therapeutic and educational for children and adults, especially for those with sensory processing challenges.

P R E S S   R E L E A S E    

Contact: Deanna C Medina

(212) 529-2263 Voice / (646) 575-1767 Mobile

New York, NY – December 15, 2016 – Dirtworks Landscape Architecture, PC is designing the new Sensory Arts Garden at The Els Center of Excellence in Jupiter, Florida.  This project allows the Els for Autism Foundation to expand arts integration for people of all ages and abilities, by designing and programming a “creative place”, which can be experienced via touch, sight, hearing, smell, taste, and movement.

The sensory arts garden will be both therapeutic and educational for children and adults, especially for those with sensory processing challenges, by providing a meaningful experience through the exploration of nature. The design will allow all visitors to engage with nature in their own way, on their own terms and at their own pace.

The project will highlight the connection between nature and human nature in innovative ways. Specific areas or “garden rooms” will provide the opportunity for focused sensory input using custom planters, selected plants and other features.  The garden and connecting pavilion will provide benefits to Els for Autism clients, their family members, art students, artists and audience members, and the community at large, which will find this creative place a tranquil destination in which to appreciate diverse talents.

David Kamp, FASLA, President and Founder of Dirtworks, believes that nature is essential for human health, development and well-being. “At Dirtworks, we have seen the transformative effect of nature. I am excited about collaborating with the Els for Autism Foundation in building the Sensory Arts Garden. We are dedicated to creating gardens that are safe, enjoyable and educational for everyone regardless of capability. We also maintain a strong commitment to sharing information, supporting collaborations and building research opportunities to strengthen the effectiveness of design’s role to improve health.”

Dr.Marlene Sotelo, Director of Programs and Operations for the Els for Autism Foundation, added that, “nature offers children and adults with autism spectrum disorder with wonderful opportunities for adventure, exploration and engagement. When individuals with autism engage with nature; they develop not only a special interest in birds, animals or plants, but also opportunities to develop their social skills.”

About Dirtworks, PC

Dirtworks, PC ( is an internationally recognized and award-winning landscape architecture firm. Its designs enhance the restorative quality of the natural environment. The firm, founded in 1995 by David Kamp, FASLA, LF, NA, provides clients with the creativity and technical knowledge essential to project design and site planning. Dirtworks, PC provides a full range of professional services with a staff of technically trained and design-oriented landscape architects.

About the Els for Autism Foundation (

The Els Center of Excellence is a project of the Els for Autism Foundation. The Foundation is a public charity, recognized as tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Individuals with autism spectrum disorder ages 16 months through adulthood are served through a variety of programs and services. Many of the programs are also open to the community for people of all ages and abilities.

Photography: Historical images for editorial use at:  Please contact the team for images following ribbon cutting of Sensory Arts Garden Environment scheduled mid-July.


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