Horticultural Therapy Program
Horticulture Therapy is a complementary therapy, which uses plants and gardening to promote health and wellness. This holistic therapy is rooted in the principle that plants and people share the rhythm of life. Both plants and people grow and change and respond to nurture and climate. Participants will find that as they tend their plants and gardens, they will also tend their body, mind and spirit.
A professional horticulture therapist, from the North Carolina Botanical Gardens, plans and conducts activity sessions at the UNC Farm at Penny Lane to help participants achieve the following benefits:
- Physical health through purposeful exercise (level determined by ability), fresh air, learning about nutrition, practicing healthy eating.
- Emotional health through stress reduction, connection to nature, creative expression, successful outcomes with plants.
- Social health through social interaction, cooperative enterprise, community building.
- Learning new skills in horticulture and related fields to promote vocational and leisure opportunities.
Horticulture Therapy Classes
Mondays: 10:00am – 12:00pm
In-person, Farm at Penny Lane
This group provides plant-based activities in and around the garden to help lower anxiety, boost your mood and encourage physical activity and regular outdoor time.
- Weather permitting: all sessions include indoor discussions and outdoor gardening. Accommodations will be made for special needs.
- Activities may include: growing and maintaining plants; plant propagation; working in the garden and greenhouse; cooking with fresh produce; working with aromatic herbs and flowers; making products with plants, herbs and flowers; and learning about horticulture, nutrition, and the natural sciences. Specific activities will be determined by participant’s interest and ability.
- Transportation: Provided from Carr Mill Mall. The van will leave from CVS at 9:30 a.m..and return following the program.
- Special Instructions: Participants should wear clothes that they don’t mind getting dirty and apply sunscreen. Water will be available; participants are welcome to bring snacks.
Farm-to-Home Produce Pack Program
For a nominal fee, seasonal fruits and vegetables grown by the farm’s staff and volunteers are given to eligible patients of the CECMH. The program lowers barriers and provides access to supplemental produce in a participant’s diet. This is a non-medical intervention to address preventable chronic health conditions that people with serious mental illness are disproportionately diagnosed with. On average, the Produce Pack Program serves about 25 individuals regularly during the year, in addition to numerous individuals who can take home produce offered a la carte in the Carr Mill STEP Clinic waiting room.
Certificate in Therapeutic Horticulture
The North Carolina Botanical Garden offers a certificate in Therapeutic Horticulture to professionals and students in allied health, education, and design fields. This program allows participants to incorporate their love of nature into their existing practices.
Professionals who will find the program highly applicable to their work include occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech-language pathologists, recreational therapists, art/music/movement therapists, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, mental health counselors, nurses, physicians, rehabilitation counselors, vocational rehabilitation counselors, substance use disorder counselors, K-12 educators, college educators, educators of exceptional children, public garden professionals, urban planning designers, and landscape designers/architects.
Your donations support the creative alternative recovery programs. These programs include group therapies such as Horticultural Therapy, Brushes with Life, and Wellness Wednesday. As well as community programs such as the CORA Food Pantry, Wellness on Wheels Mobile Clinic and Tiny Home Village.