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Chadwick Arboretum & Learning Gardens

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Horticultural Therapy Garden

The American Horticultural Therapy Association defines horticultural therapy as a process utilizing plants and horticultural activities to improve social, educational, psychological, and physical adjustment of persons, thus improving their body, mind, and spirit. The Chadwick Arboretum & Learning Gardens Horticultural Therapy Garden was created in partnership with the Franklin County Master Gardeners for this purpose. 

The Franklin County Master Gardeners provides continued support for our Horticultural Therapy Garden through both volunteers and funding. These volunteers funded the purchase of small raised planting beds, picnic tables, and the gardening materials they use throughout the season. 

Our Horticultural Therapy Program

A social service organization for adults with physical and developmental disabilities brings their participants to Chadwick Arboretum & Learning Gardens for gardening experience and volunteer service. Master Gardener Volunteers donate their time each week (April–September) to lead this program and to work with individuals in a variety of gardening activities.

The staff and the volunteers who run the program are mindful of the philosophies and concepts of horticultural therapy when generating seasonal activities and working with participants. Horticultural activities range from potting plants to installing gardens to harvesting the fruits of their labors.

Use of Containers in Horticultural Therapy

Different containers and raised garden beds enable individuals in the Horticultural Therapy program to better interact with the gardens. Containers make gardening more accessible to people with disabilities. One of our volunteers, Joe Lansing, designed and built the raised beds in our Horticultural Therapy Garden to make it easier for individuals to enjoy their gardening experience. Soil for these beds was donated by The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company.  

Community Pots – Painted Pots with a Purpose

The Horticultural Therapy program is funded without assistance from the university. To raise operating funds for the Horticultural Therapy Garden and the program, terracotta pots are hand-painted by participants, staff, volunteers from Chadwick Arboretum & Learning Gardens.  These painted pots are sold at the Chadwick Arboretum & Learning Gardens Spring Plant Sale and Auction. They represent the communal effort of devoted individuals painting pots with a purpose – to sustain an outstanding and unique horticultural therapy program that continually changes lives.