Who is NWTH?
Northwest Therapeutic Horticulture (NWTH) is a network of registered horticultural therapists (HTR), horticultural therapy students (HTS), and members of the American Horticultural Therapy Association (AHTA). We seek to include community members that are active in: education, activism, gardening, farming, wilderness and art therapies, occupational and physical therapies, and other healing modalities.
Our community is open to anyone with interest in using horticulture as therapy or in learning more about the flourishing field of HT. We hope to come together to grow our therapeutic horticulture network, as well as our own personal connections with each other and the natural world.
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Please subscribe below to join the NWTH community and receive updates on future gatherings, professional opportunities, and other ways to get involved.
Also, check out our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/NWTherapeuticHorticulture
How do we help?
Cultivating a relationship with the natural world can benefit all of us. Horticultural Therapy programs are designed to include and accommodate all kinds of people, especially those with developmental, physical, or mental disabilities. We work with older adults and children, in a variety of healthcare, residential, school, and rehabilitative settings. Programming may include encouragement and accompaniment in getting outside, instruction and assistance in planting and maintaining therapeutic gardens, implementing appropriate adaptations, and collaborating with clients to set and meet goals.
How can you participate?
NWTH hosts three therapeutic horticulture site visits yearly. Gatherings include visiting with local HTs and other community members, cultivating inspiration through site walk-throughs, and sharing ideas and resources. We hope to promote the field by building relationships, as well as advocating for our services and the proven benefits of Horticultural Therapy. If you would like to host a gathering, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Other ways to get involved:
- Donating (monetary or otherwise is always appreciated)
- Hosting an informal social gathering
- Telling organizations and other partners about HT & NWTH
- Bringing HT to your personal home, work, or school setting
Meet the NWTH Steering Committee
The 2019-2021 NWTH Leadership Committee is comprised of Kasia, Claire, Mandi, Hannah, and Saskia. We are self-selected volunteers who have committed to serving NWTH for 2 years. This structure is based on past leadership team processes; the 2017-2019 committee included Juliette Authier, HTR, Naomi Berg, HTR, Lauren Day, BA, and Linda Park, HTR.
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Kasia has a BA in Human Development Human Services from Prescott College. She completed her HT curriculum and internship at Legacy Health in 2015, and became registered as an HTR in 2018. With a background in gerontology and hospice work, she has now shifted focus to work with children and youth. Kasia is an educator and facilitator for nature-based programs in formal and informal settings and is involved with several non-profit organizations that aim to connect children to the natural world. She is passionate about supporting young people who face barriers to nature experiences and works to create equitable nature access for all. In addition to her love of plants, she is also a hobby farmer with many feathered and furry companions and includes her certified therapy rabbits in her HT work.
Claire O'Laughlin, PhD, HTR, is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and completed her HT internship at Legacy Health in March 2019. For the past 10 years, Claire has provided psychological and behavioral health services to people in a variety of health care settings. She loves gardening and plants, and is a strong advocate of innovative ways to promote health through nature. Working with older adults (ages 70+) on gardening and therapeutic horticulture projects is a particular passion of Claire's. Claire is also the president of the Friends of Portland Memory Garden, a free public garden in SE Portland designed specifically to support people with memory loss and their caregivers. When not gardening, Claire can be found reading on her porch, walking her corgi, or tending to houseplants.
Hannah has a background in communications and holds a BA in Journalism. Her passion for nature and plants is what drew her to Horticultural Therapy and exploring the healing power of nature. She is currently pursuing her registration as a Horticultural Therapist with the AHTA. She also has a background in floral design and has worked as a freelance floral designer in the Portland area. Through NWTH and work as a Horticultural Therapist, she hopes to promote therapeutic horticulture and create meaningful connection between nature, healing and the Portland community.
Sixteen years ago Mandi Atkinson picked up her first garden trowel and it has been her passion since. She has a BA in Environmental Science and completed her HT training with Legacy Health and PCC in 2014. She has coordinated HT and nature based programs for children and elders in Colorado, Oregon, and Washington. Currently she manages display collections for the Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, operates an organic flower farm in NE Portland and works with school age children in Vancouver, Washington.
Saskia Campbell holds a BA in Speech Language Pathology & Audiology and is finishing her certificate in Horticultural Therapy. She currently works with youth experiencing mental and behavioral health challenges and adults with developmental disabilities. She looks forward to becoming a registered Horticultural Therapist (HTR) this summer! Her areas of interest within HT include care farming, horticultural place-making, the intersections with herbal medicine, and exploring humans' inherent connection to nature from a public health perspective. When not doing HT-related activities, Saskia enjoys traveling, playing in nature, gardening, reading, making art, and spending time with her many beloved houseplants.