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Therapeutic Horticulture

en Español

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In New Hanover County Therapeutic Horticulture is supported through a partnership between the county, N.C. Cooperative Extension and the Ability Garden. Our mission is:

“Empowering the underserved through gardening, education, inclusion and community engagement.”

Founded in 1999 by the Friends of the New Hanover County Arboretum, to address a lack of accessibility, diversity and inclusion of programming offered at the gardens. In 2016, we began our own non-profit organization to support this work. Developed as a model program, we serve a  variety of needs including; children and adults living with disabilities, those recovering from trauma, individuals who lack access to equitable resources and educate on the use of horticulture and a healing tool. Using green spaces at the NHC Arboretum and community outreach sites, including schools, skilled nursing facilities, and day treatment programs, we provide customized, horticulture based, therapeutic interventions with a focus on socialization, environmental education, positive behavior support, and vocational training. Using plants as our intervention, we are able to reduce stress, improve concentration, teach new skills and increase self-confidence. Presentations and consultations are also available.

More information is available at

Ability Garden

NHC Extension

NC State Extension Therapeutic Horticulture

Logo for the Ability Garden nonprofit

Ability Garden Logo

Young adults living with disabilities working in greenhouse

Group working in Lewis Greenhouse