Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture 28.2 - 2018


Why Camp? Evaluating The Impact of a Horticulture Therapy Camp for Adolescents With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Sarah Himmelheber PhD, MSW; Jennifer Mozolic, PhD; Lucy A. Lawrence, MSW, PhD

Evidence of horticulture therapy’s effectiveness with diverse populations is growing. This paper highlights how program evaluation can contribute to this growth, and details the process and findings from an initial qualitative evaluation of a horticulture therapy camp program for adolescents with developmental and intellectual disabilities in western North Carolina. Evaluation findings are organized thematically and include 1) Community Building; 2) Promoting Self-Efficacy, and 3) Exposure to and Interaction with the Natural World. The discussion concludes with ideas of how findings may contribute to both practical and theoretical realms.

A Counseling Model for RefugeesRooted in Ecological Theory

Jonathan Trauth, Ed.D., LISW-S

Horticultural Therapy (HT) has similarities to Ecological Theory, being a holistic counseling model that can be employed for many populations. Ecological Theory is informed by a range of resources and other theories recognizing their contributions and assets. This can include horticulture therapy, which when combined with holistic interventions, is an ecological aid to many clients in the therapeutic process. Horticultural therapy is a treatment modality that is non-threatening, culturally respectful and empowering of many different populations (Kim, 2013). The treatment uses plants and gardening materials with a hands-on approach to help improve the client’s social skills, self-esteem, and use of leisure time, while also providing a means to become more self-reliant (Kim, 2013).

Opportunities and Barriers to Using Hospital Gardens: Comparative Post Occupancy Evaluations of Healthcare Landscape Environments

Shan Jiang, Kirsten Staloch, and Sofija Kaljevic

Accumulating research evidence has proven the therapeutic benefits of nature in healthcare environments. Recent hospital constructions tend to include garden spaces on campuses, and the tendency is to achieve the certification of therapeutic gardens through rigorous post-occupancy evaluations (POEs). This study documented two recent POEs of healthcare landscape environments through a comparative case study format. Various garden spaces within two hospital campuses were systematically evaluated and compared regarding the restorative design features, functionality and usage situation, and users’ environmental perceptions and attitudes. The studies employed qualitative methods with quantitative components embedded, including an interview with the original designer, onsite observations and behavior mapping, indicative onsite POEs using a rating tool, and focus groups consisting of hospital staff members. Results showed that high levels of green coverage and hierarchical landscape realms on a hospital
campus enhance people-nature interactions. However, most gardens are primarily used for viewing purposes, and complicated factors contribute to a lower physical use of the spaces, including the spatial relationship between gardens and medical buildings, visibility and direct accessibility to the garden spaces, design features and atmosphere, landscape maintenance, and facility operation and management considerations. Opportunities for
and barriers to the use of healthcare landscape environments were summarized to help promote future practices.

Natural Establishment: Nature-Based Vocational Rehabilitation for Migrants Participating in the National Scheme of Integration

Pálsdóttir, A.M; Shahrad, A; Åström, M.; and Ekstam L.

In recent years international migration has dramatically increased mostly due to conflicts and wars where millions of people have left their homes for a search of life in other countries (United Nations, 2018). Many have sought refuge in the Nordic region has as asylum seekers (Pitkänen et al. 2017) and
in Sweden, a significant peak was reached in 2015 when nearly 163,000 individuals migrated with the intentions to stay and live in Sweden (Migrationsverket, 2016). An important part of migration is integration into the new society where health and entrance to the labor market are considered one of the key components for successful integration (Cuadra & Carlzén, 2015; Östergren, 2015). Work is important for health and well-being and adds meaning and structure to people’s lives (Waddell & Burton, 2006; Jahoda, 1982). Being deprived of the opportunities and resources to engage in meaningful occupations due to social structures is a form of injustice referred to as occupational deprivation (Durocher, Gibson, & Rappolt, 2014; Whiteford, 2000; 2005). Immigrants (and others) not entering the labor market risk deprivation and ill-health and social isolation (Gushulak, Weekers and MacPherson, 2010).