Therapeutic Horticulture

Organizations representing or providing education in the fields of Horticultural Therapy and Therapeutic Horticulture:

American Horticultural Therapy Association

Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association

Northwest Therapeutic Horticulture

New York Botanical Garden Horticultural Therapy certificate

Portland Community College Horticultural Therapy program

Oregon State University Therapeutic Horticulture program

The PSU Sustainability Education page provides a list of local organizations, including those from local indigenous communities, that focus upon intersectional environmentalism and native relationships with nature.

A summary of the terms (from the AHTA’s Definitions and Positions page):

Horticultural Therapy

Horticultural therapy is the participation in horticultural activities facilitated by a registered horticultural therapist to achieve specific goals within an established treatment, rehabilitation, or vocational plan. Horticultural therapy is an active process which occurs in the context of an established treatment plan where the process itself is considered the therapeutic activity rather than the end product.

Therapeutic Horticulture

Therapeutic horticulture is the participation in horticultural activities facilitated by a registered horticultural therapist or other professionals with training in the use of horticulture as a therapeutic modality to support program goals. Therapeutic horticulture is the process through which participants enhance their well-being through active or passive involvement in plant and plant-related activities.

For purposes of The SAVOR Project (because Dr. McWatters was trained as a clinical psychologist, with some specialized eduction in the use of gardening as a healing modality but she is not a registered horticultural therapist), the AHTA’s definition of a therapeutic horticulture program is applicable:

Therapeutic horticulture programs are found in a wide variety of healthcare, rehabilitative, and residential settings. The components of therapeutic horticulture program are:

  • The engagement of a participant in active or passive horticultural-related activities.
  • The participant has an identified disability, illness, or life circumstance requiring services. 
  • The activity is facilitated by a registered horticultural therapist or other professional with training in horticulture.
  • The participation is in the context of the goals and mission of the organization.

Suggested articles and research from the field of HT/TH – coming soon!

Green Cities: Good Health – Healing & Therapy