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Winter 2012 Newsletter

Linking People and Plants

HTI Director’s Note: HTI Celebrates 10 Years

This January marks the 10th anniversary of the Horticultural Therapy Institute. Driven by a passion for HT, and the desire to see it practiced effectively, the Institute’s primary focus is to offer rigorous training to those seeking to be HT professionals. Through classes, workshops and on-line training, we have reached over 800 students from all parts of the U.S. (and internationally). In the past decade nearly 200 people have completed a comprehensive series of courses to receive a certificate in HT.

Upon reflection of these ten years, two things stand out. One is the determination and passion seen in the students who attend classes. They work hard to complete the courses, bring a lot to the table for discussion, and make a difference in their own communities. I am richer for having met each of them. The other is the dedication and experience of our core faculty. Jay Rice, Karen Kennedy, and Pam Catlin are exceptional teachers, colleagues and friends. Each brings his/her own experience and approach to the classroom and deepens the educational experience. Thank you.

We don’t plan to stand still for the next years. So watch for new workshops and a new class in 2012, additional projects in the planning, and others you or we have not yet dreamed up.

Rebecca Haller, HTM
Director, Horticultural Therapy Institute

New HTI Classes and Workshops

HTI Winter 2012 Newsletter

As the Institute celebrates 10 years one new class and two new workshops will be offered. First on tap is the new one-credit class, Horticultural Methods for Therapy ProgramsThis stand-alone class is separate from our certificate classes and students need not be enrolled in certificate courses to be eligible. There are no pre-requisites. The class will teach specialized growing techniques that are effective in various healthcare, human service and educational environments. The emphasis will be on:

  • Growing methods for raised garden beds
  • Using therapy greenhouses
  • Indoor growing without a greenhouse
  • Design and plant selection for therapeutic programming

The class will be offered April 13-14, 2012 at the Gardens on Spring Creek in Fort Collins, CO. Cost of the 2-day class is $425. Instructor, Rebecca Haller, HTM has taught horticultural therapy for 20 years and is the director of the HT Institute. For more information about this class and upcoming new workshops visit our web site at

New HT Workshops:

Horticultural Therapy and Elders: Planting Seeds for Culture Change

HTI Winter 2012 Newsletter

This workshop focuses on the use of horticultural therapy (HT) with elder populations from the “Culture Change” perspective. Horticultural therapy provides cutting edge opportunities to health care communities who wish to support the strengths and interests of the individuals they serve. Workshop participants will gain skills to incorporate HT into care plans and will learn strategies to enable full participation and gardening success.

Instructor Pam Catlin is a registered horticultural therapist with over thirty years of experience in providing horticultural therapy to elders.  She currently serves as Director of Horticultural Therapy for Adult Care Services in Prescott, Arizona.

Cost of the workshop is $290 (includes materials and lunches. Optional 1.5 CEU’s available through Colorado State University for an additional fee.

Dates and Locations:
May 4-5, 2012
Porter Hills Retirement Community
Grand Rapids, Michigan

June 22-23, 2012
Margaret T. Morris Center
Prescott, Arizona

An additional new workshop will offered in the fall, Horticultural Therapy and Cancer: Supporting the Journey. The workshop will be held Oct. 5-6, 2012 at The Gathering Place in Cleveland, OH. To enroll or for more information go to

New Fundamentals of HT Dates

This fall the Institute will offer three dates and locations for the beginning class, Fundamentals of HT with an exciting new location near Boston as well as returning to California for another series. For more information or to enroll go to

Oct. 11-14, 2012
Perkins Center for the Blind
Watertown, MA

Nov. 1-4, 2012
Anchor Center for Blind Children
Denver, CO

Nov. 15-18, 2012
Elkus Ranch
Half Moon Bay, CA



Student’s HT Journey

By: Ashly Klaus, New York

Growing up my least favorite chore was weeding. The relentless task of endless weeds was hard work, time consuming and never ending. Throughout the years my mother learned how to minimize the constant complaining by planting us our own edible garden to eat while we worked. So year after year the garden grew in abundance and as the garden grew I grew, as well as the compassion I have for gardening. My initial job path led to working with the elderly, as an activity assistant for four years; there I believe my compassion for people grew.

Horticulture inspired my road to college, where I graduated from Finger Lakes Community College completing a degree in Ornamental Horticulture and Landscape Design. Throughout the degree and after graduation, I was unsure of what facet of horticulture I wanted to spend my time working in. The pro’s and con’s were to be considered working for a landscape company, with unstable seasonal work. Working primarily indoors was also out of the question, due to my love for nature. Once again the confusion of where to go from here was overwhelming. After researching career paths, I came across the American Horticultural Therapy Association.

Since horticulture has been a constant and prevalent compassion I explored the topic of horticultural therapy. AHTA website contained an abundance of information and resources regarding horticultural therapy, there I learned what a horticultural therapist was and immediately felt drawn. The idea of working with people and sharing the love and compassion for nature seemed like a perfect match.

The Horticultural Therapy Institute has taught me the skills how to bridge my compassion for others and gardening. The experience of each class reemphasized that this field was a perfect match for me. Once meeting Rebecca Haller and Christine Kramer I knew that I was heading in the right direction. The classes were well organized, faculty and guest speakers showed knowledge and expertise for their field, while providing great hands on experiences. The experiences really helped to shape and reinforce a vision in this growing profession. The students enrolled in HTI came with a variety of background, ages, careers, specialties, even countries. The universal knowledge base was stimulating and conversations were enlightening. In approximately one year I completed the horticultural therapy certificate program.

Currently, I work for the Arc of Monroe County in Rochester, NY. The Arc is a non-profit agency that provides residential services and day habilitation programs for adults with developmental disabilities. The day hab where I work is specialized for geriatrics and offer specialty programming through the OPTS (Options for People through Services) grant. This grant was a five year grant, ending in December 2011. Due to the statistics and documentation showing a progression and maintaining of skills by our individuals we were fortunate to be resigned for another five years. Fortunately, I was hired the first year of the grant and have been able to develop the horticulture program while learning through the HT Institute. Throughout the classes I continued to feel reassured that I was meeting requirements needed to run a safe and successful program, as well as learning new techniques to use. Sharing stories with other students in similar fields was comforting and supportive.

Since graduating, I have continued efforts to improve my knowledge, by enrolling in my bachelor degree. I would like to concentrate in psychology and learning about diverse populations. Thanks to the HTI I have met other students in my area and we now have a local support system to grow.

The Horticultural Therapy Institute has given me the knowledge, the fundamentals, and the support I needed to grow in this expanding field. Traveling across the US has been a great opportunity to learn about myself and my passion for horticultural therapy.

Michigan Presents Annual Conference

The Michigan Horticultural Therapy Association will present its 34th annual conference March 9, 2012 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m at Michigan State University in East Lansing. Horticultural Healing Paths: Use of HT from 9 to 99 will be presented by Jen Molnar, MSW. She will share experiences from over 20 years of practice with individuals and groups. She has provided horticultural therapy services at assisted living facilities, public schools and a chemical dependency residential program for women.

The conference features a variety of breakout sessions, educational displays, book sales, door prizes, networking opportunities, and an optional visit to the MSU. For more information see

Summer HT Internship Opportunity

The Denver Botanic Gardens is currently accepting applications for their summer horticultural therapy internship. The intern will apply HT techniques and refine skills learned in the classroom. They will be responsible for developing an HT class and leading class participants. Applications must be received at DBG by Feb. 16, 2012. Applications form available at their web site at

AHS Youth Symposium

For its 20th anniversary, the American Horticultural Society’s National Children & Youth Garden Symposium returns to the Greater Washington, D.C. area to celebrate two decades of promoting teaching and learning in the garden. For more information, or to be added to the mailing list, visit, email [email protected] or call (703) 768-5700 ext. 137.