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Evidence-Based Research

two people looking closely at a plant and taking notes

The CHTA Education Committee is beginning a quarterly communication series of accessible scholarly journals and academic papers that offers insight into the professions of Horticultural Therapy, Therapeutic Horticulture, and Nature Based Therapies.

The goal of sharing quarterly research offerings with our members is to circulate recent publications that stimulate critical thought, encourage professional curiosity and growth, and increase awareness around ways to improve our shared profession.

We also welcome research submissions from members!
If you have any favourite or exciting academic publishings you’ve recently come across, we’d love to hear from you! Please email [email protected].

Therapeutic Horticulture Activities Database (THAD)

An amazing resource database was just published through the University of Florida:

“The Therapeutic Horticulture Activities Database (THAD) was established by a working group including CHTN and initiated by Diane Relf.

Activities found in this database have been developed or adapted by horticultural therapy professionals and are presented in compliance with the standards and practices of the American Horticultural Therapy Association.”

See the Database Here
flower poking out of a yellow book

CHTA Quarterly Research Collections:

Indigenous Plant Knowledge Resource List

Horticultural Therapy professionals have an obligation to broaden our perspective, expand, and challenge Western Science frameworks to horticulture, botany, landscapes, and related fields utilized in the profession of Horticultural Therapy.

One small step in a lifetime of walking is to learn about plants, land, and right relationships from First Nations, Metis, and Inuit peoples, and Indigenous persons in other areas of the world.

February 2024

This quarterly research collection is a collaboration between the CHTA Education Committee and a CHTA member and international peer, Lesley Fleming, HTR, contributing on behalf of the Florida Horticulture for Health Network. These recent publications review topics of Horticultural Therapy and nature-based interventions in school settings.

November 2023

The third quarterly research offering by the CHTA Education Committee focuses on recent publications on the topic of utilizing Horticultural Therapy programming or therapy gardens in palliative care settings to improve quality of life for palliative care patients.

June 2023

The second quarterly research offering by the CHTA Education Committee focuses on recent publications on the topic of forest bathing or forest therapy, also known as shinrin-yoku. Forest therapy is a research-based healing practice aimed at improving physical and mental health as well as disease prevention and involves immersing or “bathing” in the forest.

March 2023

Our first three articles examine the link between counselling psychology and horticultural therapy, the plausible connection between reducing inflammation by increasing social connection through horticultural therapy, and exploring which outdoor nature-based interventions are efficacious for physical and mental health in a communal context.

Member's Research Collections:

Ann Kent's Toxicity Research Document

Awareness of the plant materials you are using with clients/ patients/ participants is a crucial part of our practice as Horticultural Therapy and Therapeutic Horticulture practitioners. Many plants, even commonly found ones in nurseries, flower shops, and in our natural landscapes can be toxic to touch and/or consume, or can cause allergic reactions including contact dermatitis.  Before incorporating any plant materials, ensure that it will be safe to work with.

Ann Kent, from Catkin Gardens, has graciously compiled a list of on-line resources. Ann suggests checking at least three resources before using plant material, as information can vary widely.  Also, be aware of commonly found invasive species in your community and refrain from using these in your work.

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