Annual Awards Criteria

The American Horticultural Therapy Association awards:

I. Charles A. Lewis Excellence in Research Award
II. Rhea McCandliss Professional Service Award
III. Alice W. Burlingame Humanitarian Service Award
IV. John Walker Community Service Award
V. Therapeutic Garden Design Awards
VI. Ann Lane Mavromatis Scholarship

If self nominating please only select the award you are best qualified for.


I. Charles A. Lewis Excellence in Research Award.

To honor Charles A. Lewis, a pioneer in the field of people-plant interaction and innovative horticultural programs throughout the community. Given to recognize research scientists who have published outstanding horticultural therapy research in a horticultural or medical journal. This award is to provide an incentive to contribute evidence-based research that demonstrates the effectiveness of horticultural therapy and to increase the awareness of research-based findings supporting the health benefits offered through horticulture. The author(s) and article must meet the following:

  • The author(s) have written at least one research paper that has been published in a peer reviewed horticultural science or medical journal within the last two years.
  • The article must be in reference of applied horticultural therapy research or the broader area of people- plant interaction.
  • The research design must use a statistical measure.
  • Review articles, philosophy and theory articles, program descriptions, and other non-research articles are not accepted for this award, even if the article was published in a referred journal.
Award Submission Required Information

II. Rhea McCandliss Professional Service Award

Given to a registered member (HTM, HTR, or HTA) of AHTA in recognition of their significant contribution to the field of Horticultural Therapy. The person to be recognized shall be distinguished by their:

  • Length of service in horticultural therapy as an instructor, supervisor, director, administrator, or in some other related capacity.
  • Distinctive service in the promotion, organization, and development of horticultural therapy programs or for an original or unusual contribution which has affected the philosophy practice of horticultural therapy. (Service to the profession is not necessarily limited to those in a position as a Horticultural Therapist, but may be through allied fields such as arts and crafts, science, psychology, rehabilitation, recreation, or education.)
  • Public relations efforts on behalf of horticultural therapy through public appearances, or authoring of articles, books, or research.

Award Submission Required Information

  • Nominator Information
  • Nominee Information
  • How active and how long has the nominee been involved in horticultural therapy?
  • Explain if the nominee is an instructor, supervisor, director, administrator, or is in some related capacity.
  • Explain how the nominee has contributed to the promotion, organization, development of horticultural therapy programs, or supported horticultural therapy through original or unusual contribution which has affected the philosophy or practice of horticultural therapy.
  • Has the nominee authored (written) articles, books, or research on horticultural therapy that have been published? Please list publications.
  • Please upload any supporting materials such as articles, announcements, or program information to this application.

III. Alice W. Burlingame Humanitarian Service Award

Given to an organization or individual who has given freely of their time, talent, and energy with special significance for horticultural therapy on a local, state or national level. Outstanding voluntary contribution to an organization or program need not necessarily be made in the year in which the nomination is made. The person or organization to be recognized shall have:

  • Influenced the thinking and attitude of the general public in a positive manner regarding horticultural therapy.
  • Assisted in the furtherance of the goals and objectives of AHTA through their service.
  • Significantly involved others in work associated with horticultural therapy.
  • Made an impact in the furtherance of horticultural therapy programming and services.

Award Submission Required Information

  • Nominator Information
  • Nominee Information
  • Describe the educational background of the individual or a program description of the organization.
  • Explain how the nominee has significantly involved others in horticultural therapy within the workplace and everyday life.
  • List the active involvement with horticultural therapy programs in the community.
  • Related to promoting horticultural therapy within the community, list the nominee’s public speaking, publications of article(s), or other special events.
  • Describe how the nominee’s volunteer work promotes horticultural therapy within the community.
  • Explain how the nominee has assisted in the furtherance of the goals and objectives of AHTA through their service.
  • As the nominator, please explain why you think this individual/organization should receive this award.
  • Please upload any supporting materials such as articles, event announcements, or organizational brochures to this application.

IV. John Walker Community Service Award

Given in recognition of significant contribution in horticultural therapy in the area of program services provided to a community. Programs to be recognized shall be distinguished by their leadership in the field for:

  • Effective programming for population served.
  • Innovative patterns for service delivery in program and community.
  • Optimum and imaginative utilization of staff knowledge and skills.
  • Establishment of an evaluation process for measuring client progress and program success.
  • Effective public relations.
  • Involvement with and benefit to the community.

Award Submission Required Information

  • Nominator Information
  • Nominee Information
  • Please identify/list any published materials that show an impact on the community?
  • What innovative ideas and new techniques were used for delivering services and how effective were they?
  • How was horticultural therapy implemented for the client and how was progress measured?
  • Can this program be used as a model so other groups can benefit?
  • What methods were used to evaluate the progress of the program? 
  • How does the content of the program involve horticultural therapy?
  • Please upload any supporting materials such as published materials, program articles, or examples of measurement tools to this application.

V. Therapeutic Garden Design Awards

Given for the purpose of identifying and publicizing excellence in therapeutic design and programming to existing gardens and landscapes that were designed and are maintained for therapeutic purposes. Recognized designs should reflect the following characteristics:

  • Scheduled and programmed activities, including horticultural therapy programming and events and activities intended to encourage the participation of special populations.
  • Improved accessibility through modified features and the availability of adapted equipment and tools.
  • Well-defined perimeters to direct visitors to garden displays.
  • The inclusion of intensive plantings and open environments, benignly designed to enhance people-plant interactions, social interchange, and a sense of safety.
  • Universally designed for all people, regardless of age and ability.
  • An intensified recognition of the opportunity to experience comfort, sensory stimulation, and independence within the designed garden or landscape.

Award Submission Required Information

  • Nominator Information
  • Nominee Information
  • Describe the different kinds of program activities, including horticultural therapy programming, events, or activities and explain how the activities encourage the participation of special populations. 
  • Is an HTA, HTR, or HTM involved in programs and plantings for this garden? Please name the person and describe their involvement.
  • Describe how accessibility is addressed through modified features and the availability of adapted equipment and tools.
  • Explain how the directions and signage assist everyone that enters and travels through the garden.
  • Explain how people-plant interactions, social interchange, and a sense of safety are promoted by intensive plantings and open environments.
  • How does the garden meet universal design principles with no limits for all people, regardless of age and ability? Attach photos or plans to this application.
  • Explain how you or a visitor can use the opportunity in the garden to experience comfort, intensified sensory stimulation, and independence within the designed garden landscape.
  • Please upload photos or garden plans and other appropriate printed materials in support of the application.

VI. Ann Lane Mavromatis Scholarship

This $500 scholarship is awarded to recognize academic achievement and to promote growth of professionalism in the field of Horticultural Therapy. The scholarship recipient’s registration fees for the annual meeting will be waived by the AHTA and they will be granted two nights lodging for the annual meeting. The student who is awarded the scholarship shall have:

  • A declared major in the field of Horticultural Therapy or a related field with course work supporting the field of Horticultural Therapy.
  • Membership in AHTA.
  • A high level of academic achievement.
  • Evidence of financial need.
  • Personal involvement in horticultural therapy through the contribution to the development of the horticultural therapy program at their college or university or through participation in extracurricular horticultural therapy activities with a local, state, or national Horticultural Therapy organization.

Award Submission Required Information

  • Nominator Information
  • Nominee Information
  • Current Enrollment Information
  • Financial Resources Available
  • Contributions
    • Is the student personally involved in the development of the horticultural therapy program at their college or university by participating in extracurricular horticultural therapy activities within a local, state or national horticultural therapy organization?
    • How do these activities contribute to the student’s education? 
    • Please write 2–3 paragraphs explaining the reasons why the student hopes to pursue a career in horticultural therapy.
  • A copy of a current transcript needs to be uploaded with the application form.