2017 CHTA Conference

For more information on our 2017 CHTA Conference presentations, please read Lesley Fleming's "Handout for Horticulture and Health According to Three Wise Men"

You may download her presentation in PDF format by clicking here.

Presentation Outlines

Homewood Health Centre Horticultural Therapy Department

Homewood Health is the Canadian leader in mental health and addiction services. We are a 300-bed mental health and addiction facility located on 50-acres on the banks of the Speed River in Guelph, Ontario.

Homewood Health Centre hosts one of the oldest and longest running Horticultural Therapy programs in Canada. Our Registered Horticultural Therapists use a client centered approach to encourage and support our patients in their recovery process through connections with nature, participation in gardening and in nature based activities. Our Horticultural Therapy programming takes place in our raised bed gardens, conservatory, and gazebo as well as on our beautiful grounds.

We have three Horticultural Therapists on staff that provides programming for over 180 patients per week from all patient services throughout the Health Centre. Tamaura Proctor, HTR – Program Coordinator and Discipline Leader, Trina Alix, HTR and D’Arcy Meloche, HTT.

These program services include: Addiction Medicine Services; Integrated Mood and Anxiety Program; Program for Traumatic Stress Recovery; Eating Disorders Program; Comprehensive Psychiatric Care; and Program for Older Adults.

We also have a complement of 30 volunteers who support our Horticultural Therapy Department with inpatient programming, plant and greenhouse maintenance, in the organization of program supplies and set up as well as with floral and window design.

2017 Speakers Presentations


Lesley Fleming, MA, Registered Horticultural Therapist

Conference Sessions:
Celebrating a CHTA Pioneer
Horticulture and Health According to Three Wise Men

Lesley Fleming

Lesley, a Registered Horticultural Therapist through the American Horticultural Therapy Association, is a Florida private practitioner with national and international experience consulting, developing and delivering horticultural therapy and therapeutic horticulture. She has worked with many populations: youth, physically and mentally disabled, geriatric, incarcerated, developmentally delayed and wellness groups. Published on topics ranging from horticultural therapy at botanic gardens, treatment plans for HT, and healing gardens for cancer populations, she is the former editor in chief of the American Horticultural Therapy Association’s News Magazine, former board member of the American Horticultural Therapy Association, reviewer for Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture, and recipient of several American horticultural therapy awards. Her recently published e-book Therapeutic Horticulture A Practitioner’s Perspective contains 50 articles on issues within the profession and reflects her broad range of interests, expertise and research including 2 peer reviewed Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture articles.

Lesley's most recent interest has been interdisciplinary professional development. As keynote speaker at the Michigan Horticultural Therapy Association’s 2017 conference, she was instrumental in developing the conference theme of gardening for both recreation and treatment which was granted continuing education credits through the American Therapeutic Recreation Association and delivered to horticultural and recreational therapists. Lesley has delivered training and lectures throughout the U.S. and Canada, including Ontario and Nova Scotia.

Born and raised in Kitchener Ontario, Lesley currently has a Halifax zone 5 and a Sarasota zone 9 garden.


Registered Aromatherapy Health Practitioner
Landscape Technologist
Honouray and Founding member CHTA

Mitchell Hewson

Mr. Hewson was the first Registered Horticultural Therapist to practice in Canada. He has a HTM - Horticultural Therapist - Masters His internship was done at Clinton Valley Center, Michigan.

Mitchell is also a Registered Aroma Therapist, Landscape Technologist, and certified Safe Food Handler-Ministry of Health.

He has developed the 1st and largest Horticultural Therapy Program in Canada at the Homewood Health Centre Inc., and is the first recipient of the prestigious CEO Award.

Mitchell is the first Canadian to receive the American Horticultural Therapy Publication Award for his book Horticulture As Therapy that has been translated into Japanese, traditional Chinese. He has numerous papers and seventy-five published papers on Horticultural Therapy. Articles have appeared in McLeans, Readers Digest, Harrow Smith, Toronto Star and Horticultural publications. He is a chartered member and honouray member of the Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association. He was a Board Member of the American Horticultural Therapy Association and past board member of Spark of Brilliance. He is also the first Canadian to be honoured by the American Horticultural Therapy Association with five International Awards including the Alice Burlingame Humanitarian Service Award for promoting and furthering Horticultural Therapy and the AHTA Professional Service Award. He is a keynote speaker and offers workshops and lectures on Horticultural Therapy across Canada, United States, Cuban Republic, Japan, Taiwan, Norway and the Caribbean. He has provided courses and workshops for Conestoga College-Kitchner, Fanshawe College-London, University of Guelph, Mohawk College-Hamilton, and Denver Botanical Gardens USA.

Mitchell is a consultant with Hensel Design Group Inc. Vision Scapes, Walter Fedey Partnership and the Hong Kong Association of Therapeutic Horticulture. Interviews include Peter Gzowski -CBC, CFRB - Mark Cullen, CFTV National News, and Global Television. CBC, Calgary Alberta, and Thunder Bay. Videos include-Vision Television, CBC Health Show, Mark Cullen Gardening Show.

Jane New, M.A., B.Ed.

Jane has worked at The Riverwood Conservancy Enabling Garden as the Coordinator of horticulture therapy programs since its inception in 2012. She is a trained Horticultural Therapist, member of the Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association and an Ontario certified teacher. She has worn three distinct hats during her working life: teacher, specifically of at-risk youth, addiction and trauma counsellor for ten years and landscape designer, all three of which inform her work at Riverwood.

M.A. - University of Toronto
B.A. - Oxford University, U.K.
B. Education - University of Toronto
Certificate in Horticulture Therapy - Royal Botanical Gardens
Certificate in Landscape Design - Ryerson University