Creating Safe Spaces: UACCM Student Proposes Therapy Garden at RVCAC

Text to the left says, "Make a Difference Monday. UACCM." Image to the right, Abigail Bailey posing next to River Valley Child Advocacy Center Sign.

For UACCM student Abigail Bailey, a love of research and a psychology background helped her create a project that will impact children in the River Valley for years to come. “I created a therapy garden in my first-semester general psychology class,” Abigail said. “I researched topics like how color and scent can affect someone's mood. I also created the layout for the garden—including a fountain, different species of flowers, bird feeders, benches, and a walkway.” This project will benefit River Valley Child Advocacy Center in Russellville. 

According to their executive director, Marilyn Sanders, the River Valley Child Advocacy Center serves child sexual abuse victims with onsite advocacy, forensic interviews, sexual assault examinations, and trauma-focused therapy. Abigail hopes that her therapy garden will impact people who visit the Center and help them through this difficult process. “I learned that there are more aspects to helping someone's mental health than we think,” she said. “I love helping others in any way that I can, and I think that this therapy garden will help many people feel more comfortable.”

Above: Abigail sits at the future site of the therapy garden at RVCAC.

Abigail presented plans for the therapy garden to the Center last semester. “The therapy garden designed by Abby will serve as a healing place for child victims to overcome the trauma they have endured,” said executive director Marilyn Sanders. “We are forever indebted to her for the research and thought she placed in the project.”

Abigail is a second-semester psychology student who hails from Conway and is an alumna of Saint Joseph School. After graduation, she plans to complete her undergraduate degree at Arkansas Tech University before pursuing a career in psychiatry. To learn more about the River Valley Child Advocacy Center, visit


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