National Garden Bureau (NGB), American Meadows, and Sakata Seed America are once again working together to provide $5,000 in grant money for three therapeutic gardens in North America. In addition, Corona Tools will provide a 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 the National Garden Bureau website. Voting will be open from Sept. 9-23, 2019. The top vote-getter will receive $3,000, and 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
National Garden Bureau promotes the health and healing powers of human interaction with plants through a yearly grant program for therapeutic gardens. American Meadows is a respected online retailer of wildflower seeds, perennial plants, flower bulbs, and vegetable seeds in North America. Sakata Seed America is a leader in breeding vegetable and ornamental seed and vegetative cuttings. Corona, Inc. is a manufacturer of professional and consumer tools for the lawn and garden, landscape, irrigation, construction and agriculture markets. All four are committed to supporting organizations throughout North America that help people live productive, healthy and enriched lives.