Pioneering the Future of Recovery

Experiencing the power of the Arts through technology in a safe and sensory garden environment.

A Groundbreaking Approach...

     Addiction Treatment Using Interdisciplinary Arts Therapy, Advanced Technologies, and Therapeutic Garden Design

Our Visionary Concept

The interdisciplinary creative arts therapy and technology program proposed for the Mountaineer Recovery Center (MRC) in Kearnsyville, WV represents a groundbreaking approach to addiciton recovery. By integrating diverse therapeutic modalities, cutting-edge technologies, and therapeutic garden design, this program aims to provide a holistic, immersive, and co-creative healing environment for individuals on their journey to recovery. 

At the heart of this program is the innovative use of technology to amplify and augment the therapeutic potency of the creative arts in harmony with the proven methods of recovery within the building. Wearable devices, augmented reality, AI systems, and imaginative software programs for co-creative digital visual art, offer an enriched, personalized, and engaging therapeutic experience. Music-mapping over landscape by geo-locative technology and utilizing original composition or self-selected music with a music therapist could add a unique, immersive layer to garden activities like working or wandering. These technology-driven interventions, coupled with the transformative power of creative arts therapy modes like art, music, movement, and writing, promote self-expression, exploration, empowerment, and well-being, returning patients to daily life with confidence and new skills, both self-regulating and workforce oriented. These powerful, non-cognitive methods, also including horticultural therapy, allow patients to access the deeply rooted, unspoken core of their psycho-emotional state, and transform these feelings into something deeply moving, expressive, and beautiful amidst pain, loss and suffering. 

The addition of therapaeutic garden design manifests a sensory-abundant environment that embodies the regenerative principles of nature, creating a safe and nurturing space conducive to recovery.  Features like kinetic sculptural art; gathering spaces for groups, families, or individuals ranging in privacy; guided paths; water features; and abundant plant material of different textures, colors and scents, all weave together to create a healing environment under the principles of evidence-based design, scientifically proven to have positive biological effects on the body.

Ecology has taught us that given the opportunity and correct conditions to recover, the earth, land, and soil do so at incredible speed; so it is with the 'soil' of the human mind and body. 

"Many patients are concrete in their thinking, but the concepts are rather abstract that they are presented, so sensory experiences can take abstract concepts and make them concrete to the users."                  - Dr. Jonathan Hartiens,  Director of Mountaineer Recovery Center

Future Stories of Recovery

A Path Unfolds.

Meet Ellis. He was recently admitted to the 28-day in-patient recovery program at Mountaineer Recovery Center after struggling with an addiction resulting from the purchase of marijuana laced with fentanyl. He is feeling isolated, imprisoned, and emotionally stressed. The care of staff provides constant monitoring, a program for medically assisted treatment, and individual and group counseling sessions. Ellis has very little control in his life as he begins his path to recovery, but stepping outside after a counseling sessions allows him to begin the deeper processing of his treatment. His supervised walks along the garden paths sometimes lead him to a private-feeling destination woven among the natural shrubland ecology that is common to this part of WV. But today he is encouraged to dawn a pair of mixed reality glasses to stroll the paths. Now he becomes co-creator with the landscape as he works through his feelings of loss and isolation. A subtle but purposeful soundtrack begins to play and gently unfolds along unique sections of this path. Ellis decides to head toward the garden labyrinth; he remembers the slow walk he took along the spiraling paths earlier that week which allowed his mind to focus and find a respite from the noise in his mind. He is encouraged to touch the large swaths of fabric along the paths which spring forth visual patterns; constellations laid over the blowing tall grasses, swirls of color and texture that float up from the blooming goldenrod and asters with just the stroke of his fingers along the fabric patch. He pulls out the smooth stone he grabbed from the sensory box as he headed out into the garden, rubbing its smooth surface between his thumb and forefinger. As the music begins to quiet and focus, he is nearing the center now, which begins to bathe him in a soft golden gradient of color, but still perceiving the grasses and blooms that usher him into this soft place of peace. Finally, he remembers the truthful words of his counselor earlier that day and he is able to come to grips with the change that must take place in his life. 

A Tribute.

Sam comes to Mountaineer a few times a week as part of the outpatient program. The continuing care along his recovery path allows him to stay well and to be aware of his challenges. It’s not easy, though, as he thinks of his buddy, Eric, who never obtained freedom from the addiction that took his life. Eric overdosed last year and it was a tough loss in this community. But today’s group session in the garden pavilion was productive and hopeful as they encouraged one another. Today Sam has a little extra time before heading to work, so he checks out a pair of mixed reality glasses and walks the path out to the memorial garden. He allows some of the thoughts from the session to echo in his head, backed by a musical piece that weaves new strands and melodies playing from the glasses as he approaches the site. Large stone slabs affixed with sensory pads materialize images of loved ones with the touch of the fingers. Another touch cues an audio tribute story about Eric’s infectious laugh and his special ability to brighten the mood of anyone around him; a tribute left by his sister on her last visit here. Sam decides that now is the right time to record a few thoughts of his own about Eric, so he speaks a voice command to "record" and leaves a memory of his favorite moments with his friend. “He’s not here to walk this path with us now, but we honor and remember his strength in trying. And if you’re walking this path now, you’ll come through it, too.” Sam couldn’t have known how much Charlotte needed to hear those words the following week while wandering through the garden. 

A Crossroads.

Amber is a young mother at a difficult crossroads in her life. She knows she needs to break her cycle of addiction to become the stable mother her young daughter needs. This is how she comes to find herself in the inpatient women’s center at Mountaineer; a place that she and her child will be safe as she faces the difficult task of addressing substance abuse issues. The caring staff lead her through individual and group therapy sessions throughout her time here, but Amber’s favorite part of each day is her walk through the gardens to check on her daughter. First she is allowed some unmonitored time in the interior courtyard, a safe place to wander the meandering paths. Maybe today she chooses a place to sit for a bit and sketch or leave a thought in one of the placed journals throughout the garden. She feels encouraged, catching a glimpse of a family reuniting for the first time with their loved one in a private alcove. The sound of cascading water obscures what is surely a tough conversation. Or perhaps tomorrow, she wants a little more involvement with her bit of time in the garden and she chooses to dawn a pair of sensory glasses that allow the courtyard walls to become a canvas for shapes and colors that trace patterns before her eyes along with what is now a familiar and comforting piece of music that seems to drift over the space. She can still hear the water or the laughter from another child playing with his mother in the open space of the courtyard, but with an enhanced layer of music and color, allowing another kind of retreat; a space for the mind to settle and process. Feeling ready and refreshed, she’s now able to head over and see her daughter next door in the children’s care facility. The brief walk through a landscape of common WV wetland plants over the stream bed transitions to upland species as she ascends the hill and sheds the morning’s troubles, because now, she is determined to reclaim her life and her family along these paths. 

A Newfound Freedom

Letty had a tough session today with her peer counselor. Left restless and upset, she just needs a place to move and work out her anxious feelings. Letty knows the circuit path that weaves around the building and decides to make a loop in the rain because she just needs to get out right now. It’s a brisk walk through the grove of Dogwood trees, knotty bark and still-bare branches opening up to the grasses, now dried and left stiff and standing from their growing season but sparkling from the frost that covered them this morning, punctuating the landscape. Her brisk jaunt takes her past the group of 8 or so men meeting under the pavilion and she wonders if they are just as frustrated as she is. Letty crosses the bridge and watches the work of the ground birds in the stream bed and something finally breaks free in her spirit. She can almost hear the music that normally accompanies this part of her walk, but today she just needed the silence. Returning near the building, her mind is a little calmer but her body is still needing activity, so she checks out a pair of headphones to let the sound waves wash over her as she turns the compost and begins preparing the raised beds in the kitchen garden. She enjoys contributing to this work, knowing that the newly planted lettuce will end up in one of the resident patient’s meals in the near future. And as she works and listens, she is also able to work out those tough issues raised in the session earlier today. The music feeds her soul, calms her b o d y , a n d a l l o w s h e r t o concentrate on feeding others while also receiving nourishment. 

Partnering with Mountaineer

The Mountaineer Recovery Center (MRC), nestled in Kearneysville, WV stands as a beacon of innovation in the field of addiction recovery. With its continuum of patient care, ranging from residential addiction recovery to outpatient sustaining care, MRC offers a unique, lodge-like environment that underscores the inherent value of each individual seeking treatment. MRC is set apart from other facilities across the country because it emphasizes the architectural environment as a key component of the healing process. We strive to complement this special outlook within the surrounding grounds by using evidence-based design principles found in therapeutic gardens.

MRC is a comprehensive addiction recovery center that offers a diverse array of services. These include medically assisted treatment, residential treatment, intensive outpatient, and outpatient services. The center's approach to addiction treatment is holistic, addressing the physical, emotional, and spiritual dimensions of recovery. A dedicated staff collaborates to deliver personalized care tailored to each patient's specific needs. The MRC's commitment to individualized, comprehensive care sets a new standard in the field of addiction recovery. 

We envision working in tandem with current staff by implementing complementary creative arts therapies in concert with, and under the direction of, certified and trained staff. Unique, technology-driven delivery methods are closely monitored by professionals in these disciplines and have the potential to be physically monitored for progress as the body responds to various arts therapies in measurable forms, such as lowered heart rate and blood pressure, and lowered stress hormones, among other possible readings. 

As an innovator in recovery, MRC has partnered with the local non-profit, Semper Liberi, specializing in empowering those seeking treatment for substance abuse to live with freedom and purpose by creating a first-in-the-nation Recovery Village to aid in patients' success in the areas of workforce re-entry, housing, and transportation. This $27 million project will be a covenant-based community where 200+ families will live in a sober neighborhood, encouraging those who have been through treatment to guide others along the journey. The village will offer diverse housing units allowing those in early recovery to live with family members in a neighborhood setting. Residences would be self-paid through leasing agreements, and there is no proposed time limit for living on-site. Amenities shall include park features, playgrounds, walking trails, and a fellowship hall to facilitate daily 12-step meetings. Living in this community would provide stability and sustained connection with others in recovery, working together to increase individuals' chances of adopting recovery as a way of life. 

About  MUD EYE

Our veteran-owned company is based on the potential for healing, both land and people. Mud refers to abundant life below the surface, synaptic connections, and its properties of healing, echoing ancient stories of a balm in sight recovery. Eye refers to the design possibilities of a land system that incorporates many media and Arts modalities that can augment physical, emotional, and mental healing in the exterior spaces of buildings where therapeutic work is applied. Sight recovery is symbolic of clarity and new ways of seeing through advancing technological means. These deep methods of non-cognitive transmission through visual, musical, and kinetic arts, hope to reach those interior spaces to aid in healing root traumas that often accompany behavioral struggles. 

Steven Temme


Principal, Landscape Technology Desinger, Musician, Project Lead

Steven, a visionary landscape designer, is driven by his profound appreciation for the essence of place. His designs embody a harmonious collaboration with natural systems and processes, capturing and amplifying the unique qualities inherent in each landscape. His residential projects imbue painterly qualities of texture and dynamism, with his most notable work being the garden design and curation for the esteemed American Soprano, Renee Fleming.

Venturing beyond traditional landscapes, Steven pioneers a multidisciplinary design approach, merging technology with aesthetics. His innovative use of visual and aural overlays, coupled with biometric technology, elevates sensory garden experiences. This methodology extends its influence across various sectors, from healthcare to historical storytelling and community building. 

Steven's innate understanding of movement, rhythm, and form originates from his distinguished 20-year career as a professional saxophonist. His performance experience is wide-ranging within prestigious ensembles, such as The Philadelphia Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony, The Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, and the Verbier Festival Orchestra on stages from New York's Carnegie Hall to Royal Albert Hall in London.

His musical journey is further distinguished by his 20-year service as a Marine; a member of "The President's Own" U.S. Marine Band, where he provided musical support in the Whtie House for four presidents. His music education from the esteemed Jacob's School of Music at Indiana University and the Cergy Conservatory in Paris, France, has imbued his landscape design work with unique qualities of form, rhythm, and line.

Adding to his extensive skillset, Steven also holds a Master's degree in Ecology and Landscape Design from The George Washington University in Washington D.C. His diverse backgrounds in music, military service, and landscape design combine to form a unique vision and approach to creating breathtaking and innovative landscapes.

Dr. Pramod Abichandani

Technologist, Sensor and Wearable Tech

Pramod is an academic and a technology entrepreneur. He is an Assistant Professor in the ECET/ECE department at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). He is the founder of LocoRobo, a robotics company focused on the education, consumer, and defense rackets. Prior to joining NJIT, he served as a faculty member in the Colleges of Engineering and Business at Drexel University. He received his Bachelors of Engineering (B.E.) degree in 2005 from Norma Institute of Technology, Gujarat University, India, and his M.S. and Ph.D. Degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Drexel University in 2007 and 2011 respectively. His research interests are centered around optimal, multi-dimensional, datadriven decision-making, through the use of techniques from mathematical programming, linear and nonlinear systems theory, statistics, and machine learning. Sponsors of his research include the National Science Foundation (NSF), Office of Naval Research (ONR), National Institute of Health (NIH), Wills Eye Hospital Department of Research, Weight Waters, Mathworks, Drexel ExCITe Center, and Drexel University’s College of Engineering. On the educational front, he works on bringing innovation to the classroom by introducing novel course content, pedagogical methodologies, and evaluation techniques. He is leading research efforts that explore credential in in engineering and analytics education, the scalability of engineering and analytics education innovations and technology, and engineering-specific learning theories for data analytics education. In 2013, he was selected to participate in the National Academy of Engineering’s fifth Frontiers of Engineering Education symposium in Irvine, California where he presented his Data Science education initiatives. 

Dr. Jonathan Hartiens

Project Partner, Chief Executive Officer of Mountaineer Behavioral Health

Dr. Jonathan Hartiens is a Clinical Psychologist specializing in individual, couples and family therapy. He has over 30 years experience and developed expertise in the treatment of addictions. In addition to being a prominent therapist, he is frequently invited to speak at national conferences and general audiences on addiction treatment. Besides helping those who suffer with chemical addictions, he is also well known for treating sexual addictions. He was on the medical staff at the VAMC Medical Center, Martinsburg, from 2001 to 2011 where he worked at the Center for Addiction Treatment as both a psychologist and the Program Director. He’s authored and been awarded several grants to expand the range of addiction treatment into rural areas, including a $3 million grant used to build the Mountaineer Recovery Center, which is the first residential facility in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.

Dr. Hartiens history also includes his service as an active-duty Navy Psychologist from 1994 to 2001. He completed his doctoral internship at National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. He also served at Naval Hospital Groton, CT and Naval Air Station Sigonella, Sicily.

Dr. Hartiens is an interactive therapist who helps clients identify the specifics of the problem and the barriers to their solutions. His therapeutic approach is to provide compassion, understanding, and observations on destructive or unhealthy patterns of behavior. He integrates cognitive-behavioral techniques to offer a highly personalized approach tailored to each client.

Dr. Hartiens is married to his wife of 29 years and has three children. He is a member of Independent Bible Church in Martinsburg, WV.

B.A. University of the South, Sewanee TN
M.S. Northwestern State University of La, Natchitoches, LA
M.A. Theology, Fuller Seminary, Graduate School of Theology, Pasadena, CA
Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, Fuller Seminary, Graduate School of Psychology, Pasadena, CA

Licensed Psychologist, West Virginia
Licensed Psychologist, Virginia

Josh Leitz


Chief Operations Officer & Communications

Josh is an individual who exemplifies passion and creativity, infusing every project he embarks on with innovative ideas and vibrant enthusiasm. His educational journey began as a teacher for students in grades K-8, where he led the development and execution of the school's technology-based curriculum plan. This experience sparked a deeper interest in the integration of technology in education, leading him to join a curriculum software provider to enhance the marketing and implementation of tech-driven educational tools.

In his current role as the Chief Operations Officer at SchoolsPLP, a national online curriculum provider for grades K-12, Josh harnesses his motivation to simplify learning experiences via complex technology. His dynamic role allows him to leverage his experiences and skills to shape the future of education.

Josh holds a Bachelor of Science in both Marketing and Management from Arizona State University. He further extended his educational journey with a Post Baccalaureate in Teacher Education from Ottawa University. As a lifelong learner, he is constantly exploring ways to blend traditional teaching methods with advanced technology to better serve the students of today and tomorrow. 

Anchi Chern

Financial Director

Anchi has served as a corporate executive, investor and advisor across a variety of industries including media, communications, software and business services. Anchi specializes in scaling high growth businesses through financial and operational management, building high performance cultures and s p e a r h e a d i n g c o r p o r a t e d e v e l o p m e n t a n d transformational strategic initiatives. He currently serves as Chief Operating Officer of Team RMS, a national provider of employment administration and risk management services to the financial services industry. Prior to Team RMS, he held positions at VHT, Cable One, The National Basketball Association and Vulcan Capital. Anchi earned a Bachelor of Science in Business administration with concentrations in finance and economics from Indiana University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. 

Joel Puckett

Project Partner, Composer

Joel Puckett is a composer leaving both audiences and the press buzzing. His music has been described as, “soaringly lyrical” (Minneapolis Star Tribune), “Pucciniesque” (Wall Street Journal), and “containing a density within a clarity, polyphony within the simple and - most importantly - beautiful and seemingly spiritual.” (Audiophile Audition). Parterre Box recently proclaimed, “Puckett should be a household name” and the Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns mused, “if the name Joel Puckett isn’t etched into your brain, it should be.” In 2011 NPR Music listed him as one of the top 100 composers under 40 in the world. Hailed as “visionary” (Washington Post) and “an astonishingly original voice” (Philadelphia Inquirer), his music is performed by the leading artists of our day and is consistently recognized by organizations such as the American Composers Forum, BMI, Chorus America, National Public Radio, and the American Bandmasters Association. Puckett’s music attracts diverse performers and listeners through its emotional energy and commitment. Melding tradition with innovation, his distinctive style grows from his power to create transcendent experiences using charismatic musical language. The Fix, a grand opera commissioned by Minnesota Opera, premiered in the March 2019 to packed houses, enthusiastic audiences, and largely effusve praise. With a libretto by Academy Award and Tony Award winner, Eric Simonson, the work depicts the rise and fall of the 1919 Chicago White Sox. It is a tragedy ripe with power, romance and redemption, set against the backdrop of America’s favorite pastime. Puckett’s earlier commissions have been premiered and performed worldwide, to exuberant critical acclaim. His flute concerto, The Shadow of Sirius, premiered in 2010 and has received more than 200 performances and been recorded multiple times, including 2015’s Naxos Surround Sound disc, “Shadow of Sirius,” which received a 2016 Grammy Nomination. Currently the Chair of Music Theory, Ear Training, and Piano Skills at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Puckett presents workshops nationwide and frequently serves as an adjudicator at competitions for rising composers. His music is represented worldwide by Bill Holab Music.

Emily Bruso

Project Partner, Music & Horticultural Therapist

As a board certified music therapist, Emily Bruso provides a client-centered approach utilizing neurologic and improvisatory techniques. She is experienced in leading people of all ages and various backgrounds into high-quality therapeutic musical experiences including the areas of: acute inpatient medical care, oncology, perinatal and postpartum support, adult inpatient behavioral health, Parkinson's disease, palliative care, hospice, family support, early childhood development, and with resettled refugees. Additionally, Emily is a Master Gardener Associate through the University of Arizona and is seeking advanced training in horticultural therapy to further serve her clients. She is driven by the belief that interactions with music and nature have boundless therapeutic potential to make lasting improvements in people's lives. 

American Soprano

Winner of the National Medal of Arts and four Grammy® awards, Ms. Fleming is one of the most highly acclaimed singers of our time, performing in the world’s greatest opera houses and concert halls. In 2014, she brought her voice to a vast new audience as the only classical artist ever to sing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl.

For the John F. Kennedy Center, Ms. Fleming spearheads the Sound Health initiative, collaborating with the National Institutes of Health and the National Endowment for the Arts to call attention to research and practice at the intersection of music, health, and neuroscience. She has presented her own Music and the Mind talks on the subject around the world, earning Research!America’s Rosenfeld Award for Impact on Public Opinion. She is co-artistic director of Aspen Opera Theater and VocalARTS, a training program for high-level emerging vocal artists. Her many awards include the Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal, Germany’s Cross of the Order of Merit, and France’s Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur.

In December 2019, Ms. Fleming brought her lauded portrayal of Margaret in The Light in the Piazza to Chicago, after appearances in London and Los Angeles. Last summer, Ms. Fleming sang the world premieres of André Previn’s Penelope and Kevin Puts’s The Brightness of Light at Tanglewood.

Artistic Advisor

Renée Fleming

Soprano, Arts and Health Advocate, Kennedy Center Artistic Advisor

Wearable Devices  ::  AR Glasses  ::  Sensors  ::  Tactile Creation ::  Smart Fabrics  ::  Geo-Location  ::  Visual Arts and Sound Mapping  ::  AI Integration  ::  Biometric Measures 

Potential application is as wide-ranging and creative as the product itself: Wounded Warrior & Veterans Programs; Physical Rehabilitation; Cancer Clinics; End-of-life Care and Bereavement; Aging and Elderly Care; Community Building; Historic Preservation and Storytelling


How are you using AI technology and technology platforms?

The possibilities for integrating AI generated material are numerous. Like any new technology, its use must be made within identified boundaries, but we see such creative and functional applications such as:

What is the difference between Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)?

It is critical for all stakeholders to fully understand the nature of additive media, likened to tools or art supplies for use in a fully aware, grounded reality of "place". This is why garden design is so essential in our programming. Augmented reality is just that: addition of a media type (sound, art) placed into a real setting. Our technology aims to find an acceptable delivery mode, allowing a user to be fully aware and present in the provided setting. Wearables must not obstruct vision, cover the ears, or distract by hand-held devices out of respect for safety. Several companies are working in this arena to provide a visual overlay without obscuring or obstructing a user’s real-place understanding, allowing full environmental sound and sight just as clear as a normal pair of glasses. Our technology team is dedicated to researching the best delivery method possible to take advantage of the wonderful, creative possibilities of technology. 

Isn't the point of recovery, not to send a patient back into an altered state?

While AR can offer powerful therapeutic experiences, we recognize the importance of maintaining a balance between augmented and real-world experiences. Over-reliance on AR could potentially distract from the recovery process, create a new form of escapism, or even trigger addictive behaviors. To mitigate these risks, we will implement several strategies. First, we will ensure that AR is used as a complementary tool, not a replacement for real-world experiences and interactions. Second, we will carefully design our AR experiences to enhance reality and support therapeutic goals, rather than providing an escape from reality. Third, we will monitor participants' use of AR and provide guidance and support to prevent overuse or misuse. Finally, we will conduct ongoing research and evaluation to understand the impact of AR on our participants and adjust our approach as needed. Our goal is to use AR in a way that enhances the recovery process, while keeping participants grounded in their real-world journey towards recovery. 

It should foster a sense of ownership and co-creation with the space itself, which is contrary to the concept of Virtual Reality, whose aim is to remove a user from their environment and into one that is completely constructed with the capability to join others in that environment. Our system has the potential to be a shared user experience with the many benefits that that situation could afford, but always within the garden, which must serve as the “slow-space constant”, demonstrating natural processes over long periods of time; a real, organic, space that does its own form of “work” on a user over time.


We believe that by addressing these issues proactively, we can create a program that is not only effective, but also ethical, safe, and respectful of all participants.