Horticultural Therapy Services & Resources

Brooklyn Nature Club provides horticultural therapy services in outdoor gardens for organizations that have public spaces which create rejuvenating environments where people and wildlife can thrive together. 

Services include garden design, build, and maintenance, environmental education and stewardship, service learning opportunities, vocational and after school programming.

Horticultural therapy techniques are employed to assist participants to learn new skills or regain those that are lost. Horticultural therapy helps improve memory, cognitive abilities, task initiation, language skills, and socialization. In vocational horticultural therapy settings, people learn to work independently, problem solve, and follow directions. Horticultural therapists are professionals with specific education, training, and credentials in the use of horticultural for therapy and rehabilitation.

  • Professional Organizations:
  • Programs:
    • Horticultural Therapy at NYU Langone Hospital In the mid-1970s, one of the nation’s first horticultural therapy programs began at NYU Langone’s Rusk Rehabilitation. Adults and children work with trained horticultural therapists on activities that can help rehabilitate physical, cognitive, social, and emotional functioning.
    • Rusk Rehabilitation horticultural therapists provide services for children at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone. By working with plants, patients can gain a sense of personal accomplishment, productivity, self-reliance, and independence.
    • The GreenHouse provides the most contact time with individual participants of any social service program on Rikers Island. Our Horticultural Therapists and trained instructors serve over 500 incarcerated individuals, seven days a week. At five gardens with 160 raised beds, students work together to grow delicious vegetables, useful herbs, and beautiful flowers. The curriculum is more than just gardening: it helps students relate to their lives, emphasizes critical thinking, and encourages teamwork and collaboration.
    • The University of Tennessee Gardens, Knoxville: The UT Gardens, Knoxville began offering horticultural therapy/therapeutic horticulture programming in 2012. Since that time, they have served over 5,700 individuals who have disabilities or health issues living in the East Tennessee area.
    • At Treebath, Forest Therapy programs where adults and children can get outside and reap the health benefits nature! Treebath’s programs our our own combination of Scandinavian education philosophies, Japanese shinrin yoku concepts, and mindfulness activities.