Once again, National Garden Bureau, American Meadows and Sakata Seed America are uniting to provide $5,000 in grant money for three well-deserving therapeutic gardens in North America. In addition, Corona Tools will provide a generous set of quality gardening tools to each of the three winning therapeutic gardens.
According to the American Horticultural Therapy Association, horticultural therapy (HT) is a time-proven practice. HT techniques are used to assist participants in learning new skills or regaining those that were lost. A therapeutic garden is a plant-dominated environment purposefully designed to facilitate interaction with the healing elements of nature. There are many sub-types of therapeutic gardens including healing gardens, enabling gardens, rehabilitation gardens, and restorative gardens.
Applications are now being accepted from therapeutic gardens that meet the following criteria:
- Have a defined therapeutic program, with a Registered Horticulture Therapist on-staff or serving as an advisor, that uses the garden to achieve outlined goals for participants. Examples include horticultural therapy, occupational, physical, vocational or rehabilitation therapy in a garden setting or using gardening to promote positive social relationships within a community.
- Offer a gardening experience where there is significant people and plant interaction for the population served
- Is used for job-training, skill-building, food growing, socialization skills, improved quality of life, stress reduction, environmental education or any other positive outcome that can be gained by working in nature.
- Involve a significant number of gardeners, clients, patients, visitors or students on a monthly basis.
To apply, applicants who meet the criteria outlined above should complete this application form and submit it to the NGB office by July 1, 2019. A group of horticulture therapy experts will narrow down applications to three finalists in mid-July. Those three finalists will then be asked to submit a one-minute video that will be posted on www.ngb.org. Voting will be open from September 9-23, 2019. The top vote-getter will receive $3,000, second and third place will receive $1,000 each.
The panel of experts to determine the three garden finalists are:
- Patty Cassidy, Registered Horticultural Therapist and Vice President of the AHTA
- Barbara Kreski, Consultant for Horticultural Therapy Services
- Julie Tracy, Julie+Michael Tracy Family Foundation/Urban Autism Solutions
- Tim Hodson, President, National Garden Bureau
- Isabel Fuenzalida, Sakata Seed America
- Mike Lizotte Jr., American Meadows