In 2013 I was awarded funding from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust in the UK to travel to Canada and the USA for four and half weeks to study the use of horticulture as a therapy.
Starting in Toronto I travelled across Ontario, through Guelph, Burlington and Hamilton before entering the USA via Detroit and it’s urban farms then touring across Michigan, the home of the first degree level qualification in horticultural therapy. Brief stops were made in Indiana and south of Chicago before flying to Minneapolis for the American Horticultural Therapy Association Conference. The tour concluded with visits to gardens in Chicago, including spending two days with the excellent horticultural therapy team at Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe.
I completed a report on my findings and was awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship and Medallion Crown at a ceremony in London in May 2013.
The report examines the similarities and differences between the UK, USA and Canada including historical development, professional registration, adapted spaces and garden design, therapeutic activities, practitioners and funding.
The report has generated interest in the UK, Sweden, Canada, the USA and Australia. It has been used as evidence for a new health care facility in North Carolina to include a horticultural therapy unit as well as being part of a submission for accreditation status by the Michigan Horticultural Therapy Association. A service in Ontario has also used the report to demonstrate outcomes of using horticulture as a treatment.
The report is available for free to read online and download courtesy of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust (WCMT): http://www.wcmt.org.uk/users/richardbrown2013
You can also download the PDF directly by clicking on this link: Therapeutic Horticulture – Horticulture as a Medical Treatment
I have also been privileged to be featured on the WCMT website as a “Fellows Story” which can be found here: http://www.wcmt.org.uk/fellows/stories/richard-browns-story
Whilst travelling on the Fellowship I kept a travel blog which can be found here: www.thetravellinght.wordpress.com