2017 Conference Sessions

Community Connections Through Horticultural Therapy
September 8-9, 2017 , Pre-tours September 7, 2017
Burlington Hilton Hotel
Burlington, Vermont

Conference Home | Registration | Schedule | Sponsorship

Thursday, September 7
9:00 am - 3:00 pm

Intern Supervisor Workshop
Leigh Anne Starling, MS, CRC, HTR
Registration for the workshop is open to Professionally Registered Horticultural Therapists who are interested in supervising horticultural therapy interns. This 6 hour course will be facilitated by Leigh Anne Starling, MS, CRC, HTR, and will cover: 

  • An overview of the new AHTA Internship Guidelines
  • Enhancing and/or increasing your role as an intern supervisor
  • Providing an effective and rewarding supervision experience for the intern
  • Facilitating the goals and project requirement of an internship
  • Clinical and professional responsibilities of the supervisor
  • Intern project requirements with special emphasis on the new Case Study requirement

Workshop content includes informational handouts about effective supervision, supervision strategies, case study examples, and the opportunity for group discussion. Pre-registration is required. A fee of $75 will cover handouts, lunch and costs related to hosting this event. A certificate of attendance will be issued upon completion. 

You must be an HTR to attend this workshop.


Friday, September 8
10:15 - 11:15 am

Horticultural Therapy as Work in an Inpatient Mental Health Setting
Janelle Zigon, OTR/L, HTR
This session will be a showcase of an HT Work program in a large state psychiatric facility. It will discuss Individualizing approaches, adapting activities, working with a multi-disciplinary team, utilizing volunteers, promoting products including a new mini-CSA and a research project. 

Incorporating Creative Arts Therapies Into Your Practice
Genevieve Layman, HTR
Learn ways to support yourself and your business by expanding into the creative arts therapies. Earthtones, a Portland, Oregon based small business, meets essential needs of well-being for people of all ages and abilities through music and nature. This session will explore Earthtones unique multi- modality model and the potentials for music and horticultural therapy collaboration. 

Design and Maintenance of Therapeutic Gardens for the Healthcare Community
Thomas S. Benjamin, RLA, LEED-AP BD+C
Lorraine Brisson, MS, HTM
This session presents an unsentimental look at the design and maintenance of therapeutic gardens for healthcare institutions. We will focus on the details of healing gardens in existence for at least five years at various institutions. How can these gardens be sustained long-term in an era of rapid managerial change?

11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Horticulture in Promoting Sense of Community Among Older People – European Examples
Erja Rappe, D Sc
In the research project “New alternatives for living and housing” funded by Prime Minister’s Office of Finland we found that horticulture was widely used to promote a sense of community in housing models for older people in Europe. Different kind of horticultural methods and designs connecting people into communities are presented.

Garden Play: Creating Community for the Hospitalized Child
Roberta Hursthouse, BS, HTR
Garden Play at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago was developed thirty-two years ago as a collaboration between Horticultural Therapists and Child Life Specialists. It remains an effective, therapeutic modality during patients' hospitalization and supports their transition back into the community. 

Food as Medicine, Farming as Therapy
Sally Haskett, HTR, MLA, BA
Dena Lind, MSW, MS, BA
The Farm at Penny Lane partners with the UNC Center for Excellence in Community Mental Health and the NC Botanical Garden’s Horticultural Therapy Program to provide integrative wellness for people with mental illness in an inclusive farm setting.

1:45 - 2:45 pm

The Autism Spectrum Disorder Employment Training Program at Wilmot Gardens
Elizabeth RM Diehl, HTM
This session will introduce participants to the job training program for young adults with ASD at University of Florida’s therapeutic horticulture program. The program provides intensive training in both basic work skills and specific job skills along with job placement support with a primary goal of acquiring meaningful, paid employment. 

Healthy Individuals. Families and Communities Enjoying the Full Benefits of Great Outdoor Spaces Where They Live, Work and Play.
Reese Nelson, PhD
Collaboration of like-minded educational institutions, outdoor living professionals, non-profit groups, municipalities and health care providers have joined together in Rutland, VT to improve the health and well-being of their community. Please join us to find out how and why this community is Coming Alive Outside. 

Program Sustainability: Therapeutic Garden Programs Supporting Health System Goals
Teresia Hazen, MEd, HTR, QMHP
Health systems strive to provide better care at reduced costs. Since 1991, this therapeutic garden program continues to grow and integrate in programming across seven hospitals to support the health system mission. Programs, strategies, and techniques for indoor and outdoor year-round programming to serve patients, visitors, and employees are presented.

3:00 - 4:30 pm

Horticultural Therapy Goes Mobile through Partnerships
Douglas Airhart, PhD, HTM
Ellen Wolfe, MS
This session describes how our HT program involved university students, health department employees, women in transition, and residents of low income housing developments to create a mobile farmer’s market. This program has been able to close the gap between access and availability of local food for underserved and at-risk people. 

Bars to Markets: Therapy and Jobs for Women out of Prison
Professor James Jiler
Magi Pons
Anita Franchetti
This session presents different approaches to finding financial independence for women coming out of prison who partake in a gardening therapy program at a substance abuse half-way house in Miami, Florida. Two women - graduates of the Mustard Seed program - will share their journey, their skills and their connection to the community through the lens of horticulture therapy; and their efforts to become productive after years of incarceration. It is an interactive session, where leaders and participants interact in exploring different methods of achieving financial self-sufficiency through gardening. 

Launching a Horticultural Therapy Program for Various Underserved Veteran Populations at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Althea M. MacDonald, LMHC, PsyD, HTR
Linda Brown-Kuhn, MA
Learn about the development of a horticultural therapy program from the ground up at a VA Medical Center in NJ and its subsequent expansion to 5 different onsite Veteran populations. Lessons learned along the way could apply to any HT program launch. Session will finish with take-home succulent terrarium workshop that can be adapted to different groups. 

Saturday, September 9
9:45 - 10:45 am

Horticultural Therapy and the Role of Resilience in Rehabilitation, Health, and Wellness
Matthew Wichrowski, MSW, HTR
The concepts of resilience, strengths, and positive psychology are increasingly seen in rehabilitation and wellness literature. These concepts also have the potential to inform HT practice. Explore the meaning of these concepts within a clinical framework and learn ways to put them to use in your HT practice. 

Cultivating Cooperation: Creating Therapeutic Programming for Underserved populations by Capitalizing on Existing Community Resources
Rachel A. Deffenbaugh
Learn from a case study how to build a network of organizations in order to develop therapeutic programming for underserved populations. The case study is the Gateway Greening Urban Farm in St. Louis, MO - a Therapeutic Job Training program for individuals struggling with homelessness, mental illness and/or addiction.

Horticulture Therapy in Post-Stroke Rehabilitation
Dr. Anna-Maria Palsdottir, PhD
The session will give a detailed description on horticulture therapy in post-stroke rehabilitation at Alnarp Rehabilitation Garden. The participants at the session will learn how horticulture is used to support recovery from post-stroke fatigue. Results from a randomized controlled trial (RCT) will be presented including the participants’ own experience participating the intervention and results from self-reported health measurements. 

11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Horticultural Therapy & Therapeutic Gardens for Communities in Singapore
Angelia Sia
Overseas literature (largely western) has demonstrated the benefits associated with horticultural therapy. Understanding that there are cultural differences in terms of greenery provision and how the locals engage in nature-interaction, we completed a research study on the effects of horticultural therapy on the mental health of Asian elderly in Singapore. The findings, based on psychometric assessments and analysis of biological markers, were positive and promising. This supported our initiative to develop therapeutic gardens in the public parks of Singapore. Being a City in a Garden is our vision, and we are working towards promoting the well being of our people, including the socially vulnerable, through the provision of therapeutic gardens and therapeutic horticulture. 

Charles Lewis Award Winner: The Counseling Garden: Blooming Self-Esteem
Jacqueline Swank, PhD, LMHC, LCSW, RPT-S
Sang Min Shin, PhD, NCC
Nature provides an engaging environment that promotes healing and therapeutic change. Attendees will learn about a therapeutic gardening curriculum and the results on using it with children to foster self-esteem.

Networking by Population
Mary Anne McMillan, HTR, Past AHTA President
Jean D’Amore, HTR
This session provides an opportunity to have an open dialogue with Horticultural Therapists working with the same population as you. 

1:45 - 2:45 pm

Horticultural Therapy & the Expressive Arts: The Garden as a Canvas
Anne M. Meore, LMSW, HTR
Kelvin A. Ramirez, PhD, ATR-BC, LCAT
The interweaving of Horticultural Therapy and the Expressive Arts Therapies serves to strengthen and sustain the fabric of communities. Learn about the inception, development and installation process of a sensory garden, taking place in Nicaragua, serving students with “special needs,” by creating healing spaces, whose therapeutic benefits surpass conceptualized boundaries. 

Collaborative Garden Design for a Residential Eating Disorder Program
Jonathan Irish, MA, LPC, HTR
This session will follow the current design and implementation of a collaborative garden design project at Rogers Memorial Hospital in Oconomowoc, WI. In this session participants will get to see how the collaborative design works when the focus of the HT program is mental health. They will learn about the process of design and the purpose behind the design. They will also learn about eating disorders and how to challenge a negative relationship to food. 

3:00 - 4:00 pm

Farmer's Market at Perkins School for the Blind - Fostering Community
Deborah Krause, HTM
Farmer's Markets can enhance programs with a sensory rich array of produce and focus on individuals with a wide range of abilities and interests. The unique and popular Farmer's Market work experience in the Horticultural Therapy program at Perkins School for the Blind involves planting, harvesting, packaging, making herbal and floral items and selling, and it addresses students' objectives in communication, vocational tasks and behaviors. Through the market, we build community right at school by collaborating with speech and occupational therapists, customers across campus and parents. Partnerships with volunteers and food pantries help our students become connected with the broader community. Through slides, hands on activities and participatory discussion, you will learn how to establish a "Farmer's Market" for your program, the importance of local food production and how to create communities that will make positive changes for you and the individuals you serve. 

Horticultural Therapy as a Collaborative Modality in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Abby Jaroslow, HTR, CH
Participants will be taken on a journey from construction of the Sachs Therapeutic Conservatory to development of MossRehab’s award winning Clinical HT Program. Modalities used to engage patients will be shown, demonstrating how colleagues and administration have embraced and support the program as a valuable co-treatment tool in PM&R. 

Alzheimer's and Dementia Support Group - Community and Curriculum
Gwenn Fried, DCPA
Donna Beaton
Maria Schulz
The Alzheimer's and Dementia Support Group at NYU's Rusk Rehab combines therapeutic horticulture sessions for people in the middle to later stages of dementia with support for family and paid caregivers. Participants will see an over-view of the program from recruitment through goal setting and functional application. Attendees will learn how our new curriculum was developed and receive a 2 session sample of the curriculum that can be used as a template for and adapted to many populations.