Western signs Okanagan Charter to join United States Health Promoting Campuses Network

A celebration of Western’s adoption of the Okanagan Charter and unveiling of plans for a Healing Garden installation at Academic West was held Wednesday, Nov. 3, hosted by the Counseling and Wellness Center.

Speakers included Sabah Randhawa, WWU president; Uzma Ahmad; Melynda Huskey, vice president for Enrollment and Student Services; Sislena Grocer Ledbetter, associate vice president for Counseling, Health, and Wellbeing; Kristi Park, landscape architect at BioDesign Studio; and Shirin Deylami, professor of Political Science.

With the adoption of the Okanagan Charter, Western joins participating institutions of the United States Health Promoting Campuses Network in a commitment to embed health into all aspects of campus culture and to lead health-promotion action and collaboration locally and globally.

“We are in pursuit of a healthy Western, and the Okanagan Charter is a useful framework, as it challenges us to see health and wellbeing in every aspect of our work,” said Grocer Ledbetter.

The event featured a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the future site of the Healing Garden at Academic West. The garden, designed by Kristi Park of BioDesign Studio in collaboration with Western staff and students, draws inspiration from the form and structure of waterways and will feature soft curves, natural materials, plants, seating, lighting, and art to promote rest and rejuvenation.