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AHTA 2022 Annual Conference Schedule

September 9–10, 2022

Marriott Country Club Plaza 
Kansas City, Missouri

Wednesday | September 7

Time Event
8:30 AM – 4:30 PM

AHTA Board Meeting

Thursday | September 8

Time Event
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Pre-conference Offsite Tours:

#1 - Cornerstones of Care, Ozanam

Cornerstones of Care provides social services to children and families throughout Kansas and Missouri. The Ozanam campus in south Kansas City offers residential and day treatment programs. The horticultural therapy program provides educational, vocational, and therapeutic opportunities. In the greenhouse, students learn everything from plant propagation to hydroponics systems. On the campus, there is a half-acre of vegetable gardens, an orchard, and 13 raised beds of cut flower production.  The vegetables provide food to the culinary programs and campus kitchen. Flower bouquets are sold at local markets. During your tour at Ozanam, we will walk through the gardens and greenhouse, then participate in a horticultural therapy activity of making soil blocks.

(Boxed Lunch Provided)

#2 - KC Farm School at Gibbs Road

KC farm school at Gibbs Road, is located in Kansas City, Kansas. Their mission is to bring individuals of all ages, ancestries and abilities on-farm, hands-on, to connect to land and soil, food, community and opportunity. We will tour this inspiring, empowering farm.

(Farm fresh lunch provided)

Optional Tours:

Round out the end of your tour day with an optional, unstructured visit to the Kauffman Memorial Garden and the Gorman Discovery Center, located next to each other and just 1mi from the hotel. See descriptions below:

Ewing and Muriel Kauffman Memorial Garden, Lush and diverse plant beds feature local and exotic botanicals, including some plant varieties not found elsewhere in the Midwest. Botany students often visit the nationally-known garden to explore its distinctiveness. Open 8am to dusk.

The Gorman Discovery Center offers eight acres of natural areas with short paved and natural trails through forest, woodland, wetland, and prairie habitats. The area has demonstration beds showcasing how native plants can be used for home landscaping. Open 8am – 5pm.  

9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Internship Supervisor Workshop

Registration is open to Professionally Registered Horticultural Therapists who have been registered for a minimum of 1-year and are interested in supervising horticultural therapy interns.

This 6-hour course will be facilitated by Leigh Anne Starling, LCPC, CRC, HTR, and Gary Altman, CRC, CVE, HTR, and will cover:

  • 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 requirements of an internship
  • Clinical and professional responsibilities of the supervisor
  • Ethical challenges of supervision and the AHTA Code of Ethics

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

For questions, please call AHTA Headquarters at (206) 209-5296

You must be an HTR to attend this workshop.

5:30 – 7:30 PM

Birds of a Feather Reception 


Friday | September 9

Time Event
7:30 – 8:30 AM Breakfast

7:30 AM - 6:00 PM

Silent Auction


8:30 AM – 10:00 AM




Opening Remarks and Announcements

Keynote Speaker - Abra Lee - "The Influencers"

Black Americans have long created their own cultural blueprint for how gardens and nature can be used as a means of remembrance, inspiration, and creativity. In this conversation, we will journey back in time to discuss historic legacies and give insight into some extraordinary people and the plants they used to bring joy into their lives.    

10:00 – 10:15 AM


10:15 – 11:15 AM Breakout Sessions
From Concept to Completion: The Journey of a Research Study in Therapeutic Horticulture
Leah Diehl

Healing Community with Gardening in Chicago
Brendan Yukins

The Dramaturgy of Change - A Narrative Analysis of How a Garden can Create a New Chapter
Nina Bøe
11:15 – 11:30 AM


11:30 AM – 12:15 PM Annual Business Meeting
12:15  – 1:15 PM Lunch
1:15 – 1:30 PM Break
1:30 – 2:30 PM

Breakout Sessions

Vocational Rehabilitation and Horticultural Therapy: A Conceptual Framework of Practice for Improved Vocational Outcomes
Gary Altman

Horticultural Therapy and Nutrition: The Connection
Carrie Sacco, Judi Sacco

Healthy Bones Matter in the Garden
Melissa Bierman

2:30 – 2:45 PM


2:45 – 4:15 PM   


"I just want to be in the garden!" 
Hilda Krus
Building a Professional Portfolio to Build Your Career
Diane Relf
Coming Soon!
5:00 – 5:30 PM Poster Presentations
5:30 – 6:30 PM Social Reception
7:00 – 9:00 PM Awards Dinner


Saturday| September 10

Time Event
7:30 – 8:30 AM Breakfast

7:30 AM - 10:00 AM

Silent Auction

7:30 AM - 3:00 PM


8:30 AM – 9:45 AM




Introductions and Announcements

Plenary Speaker - Rob Reiman - "Healing by way of Community Orcharding – Stories from the Field"

Community Gardening has been around for centuries – equipping individuals and families with a means to grow their own food, while providing therapeutic benefits of working with plants in a peaceful garden environment.  The Giving Grove has extended the community gardening construct to include fruits, berries and nuts.  In the nine years since the organizations’ launch, each little orchard tells it’s own little story.  The founder of the Giving Grove, Rob Reiman – will share some of his “healing stories from the field”. 

9:45 – 10:00 AM


10:00 AM

Silent Auction Closes

10:00 – 11:00 AM Breakout Sessions
How Can Research Help Us Reimagine and Revitalize Horticultural Therapy?
Candice Shoemaker

Coming Soon!

Horticultural Therapy Across Continents
Matthew Wichrowski
11:00 – 11:15 AM


11:15 AM – 12:15 PM General Session: Charles Lewis Award Presentation
12:15  – 1:15 PM Lunch
1:15 – 1:30 PM Break
1:30 – 2:30 PM

Breakout Sessions

Exploring Community-Based Rehabilitation and Horticultural Therpay
Derrick Stowell

Coming Soon!

Nature vs Nurture: The Intersection of Horticultural Therapy and Nature Therapy
Leigh Anne Starling

2:30 – 2:45 PM



2:45 – 3:45 PM   

Breakout Sessions

Horticultural Therapy with Justice-Involved Veterans: A Mixed-Methods Study
Sarah Anne Himmelheber
Current Research on Farm and Garden-based Strategies for Addressing Trauma
Michelle Hand
Crucial Connections
Paula Diaz
3:45 – 4:30 PM Conference Closing Remarks