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Concurrent Sessions 7
October 21, 2023 | 1:45 PM – 2:45 PM

Session 7.1  |  Session 7.2

Session 7.1 | Programs of the Future: Building a Supportive Horticultural Therapy and Therapeutic Horticulture (HT/TH) Community


Join us for a presentation by Root in Nature on how they are creating a connected and peer-supported community of professionals dedicated to working together to build a resilient and vibrant future for our profession.

During this session, you will learn about the importance of collaboration and community-building in horticultural therapy. The presentation will highlight the value of peer reflection, support and resource-sharing within the profession. Gain practical insights and exercises that will empower you to implement these concepts effectively in your own practice.

By fostering a stronger and more supportive community of horticultural therapy practitioners, we can collectively enhance the impact of our work and create a positive change in the lives of participants through connection with plants and nature.

About the Speaker

Alexis Ashworth

Alexis founded Root in Nature because of a long-time love of plants and gardening and an appreciation of their therapeutic benefits. She holds a BComm in Finance and an MBA in International Development Management. She studied the Foundations of Horticultural Therapy and is an active member of the CHTA. She spent 11 years as CEO of Habitat for Humanity and was named one of Ottawa Business Journal's Forty Under 40. Alexis’ interest in horticulture grew through volunteer engagements with WWOOF. She’s happiest in her fruit and vegetable gardens, growing food for her husband to cook and two daughters to enjoy.

Sarah Shapiro

Sarah is a Registered Horticultural Therapist (HTR) with the CHTA. She sits on their Registration Committee and liases with the Education Committee. She has been supporting and facilitating HT and TH programs since 2014. Sarah works full time as an HT at Perley Health, a long-term care home for Veterans and seniors. She helped found Root in Nature and is the Lead Horticultural Therapist. Sarah volunteers with many gardening societies in Ottawa. She incorporates complementary therapies, spiritual practices, and cultures in her work. She has training in Reiki and includes energy healing with crystals, herbal medicine, mindfulness, aromatherapy, and numerology.

Katie McGillicary 

Katie is a Registered Horticultural Therapist based in Vancouver, British Columbia. A strong advocate of asset-based community development and reflective practice, Katie has been supporting therapeutic horticulture projects and programs for a wide variety of populations since 2014.Katie holds a horticultural therapy certificate and “built her own degree” in therapeutic horticulture at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, completing a minor in counselling and majoring in general studies, focusing on courses in horticulture, agriculture, psychology and research. Katie is passionate about increasing access to therapeutic horticulture in communities and facilitates regular in-person and virtual sessions. Her approach is collaborative, client-centred and strengths-based.

Session 7.2 | Share the Magic-A Guide to Publishing in the Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture


Academic writing can be intimidating. This talk surveys the various sections of the JTH, explores the publication process, and offers advice aimed at helping you publish in the Journal. This session is appropriate for professionals who may not have access to traditional academic resources to support their writing for publication.

About the Speaker 

Matthew Wichrowski

Matthew Wichrowski has been a practicing horticultural therapy at Rusk Rehabilitation NYU-Langone Medical Center for 30 years and is currently Clinical Associate Professor. He teaches in the Horticultural Therapy Certificate Program at New York Botanical Garden, presents regularly at national and international conferences, and has won many awards for his work. Matt is also Editor-in-Chief of the AHTA’s Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture. His research interests center around the effects of nature on human health and wellness and his work has been published in a variety of media, including textbooks, journals, and magazines.

Dr. Marsha Vaughn

Marsha Vaughn, the newest member of the JTH Editorial Board, has taught research at the undergraduate and graduate levels for over 20 years. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and currently teaches in the Couple and Family Therapy Department at Adler University in Chicago, IL. She has presented on therapists’ use of nature-based techniques and climate anxiety at international conferences. Her research and clinical interests include the use of nature-based interventions in therapy and integrating therapeutic horticulture techniques and metaphors into family therapy.