The UT Gardens, Knoxville, dedicated a children’s treehouse called the “Nest” in fall 2016. The Nest is the result of a design competition and is accessible for children with disabilities via an entrance that’s level with the upper floor of the structure. The treehouse is the signature element of the Gardens’ latest project, a Children’s Discovery Garden, which will also include another playhouse, a spider climbing web, a Hobbit hole, tunnel, digging pit, a shade pavilion and a water feature. Funding for the project comes entirely from donations. The complete Children’s Discovery Garden is scheduled to open in spring 2017, but the Nest is already entertaining young people.
Pre-Op Anxiety? Dogs May Help Kids
The Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) has awarded a grant to the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine for a new study to determine if interaction with a therapy dog 20 minutes prior to surgery has a significant effect on reducing a child’s anxiety levels and, in turn, lowering the dose of medication necessary for sedation. The study’s principal investigator, Dr. Zenithson Y. Ng, says the results may help justify animal-assisted intervention (AAI) in various medical situations and open doors for additional research on measurable medical outcomes associated with AAI.