2018 AHTA Conference Pre-tours

Planting with a Purpose: Engaging in Horticultural Therapy
October 5-6, 2018, Pre-tours October 4
Sheraton Denver West Hotel
Lakewood, Colorado

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Note: You can sign up for the pre-tours during your conference registration, and can update your registration to include a pre-tour if you did not initially sign up for one. 

Pre-tour #1 - Craig Hospital | Mental Health Center of Denver | Denver Botanic Garden via Charter Bus

Thursday, October 4 | 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Registration fee: $75 per person

Craig Hospital Horticultural Therapy Program

Craig Hospital is a private, not-for-profit rehabilitation hospital serving individuals with spinal cord and/or traumatic brain injuries. Craig’s Horticultural Therapy program has been in existence since 1982 and is coordinated by a registered horticultural therapist (HTR).

Horticultural therapy programming at Craig has two approaches: leisure and therapeutic. The leisure approach focuses on identifying accessible gardening equipment and tools specific to the patient’s needs and interests for their return to gardening. The therapeutic approach involves the horticultural therapist meeting with the patient and their physical, occupational, or speech therapist and using plant-related activities to work on individualized therapy goals. The program utilizes both indoor and outdoor gardening spaces. Inside is a 320 square foot “Green Room” used for teaching basic houseplant care and propagation. Supplemental high-intensity lighting provides adequate lighting needed for growing indoor tropical plants as well as spring seed-starting for the summer gardens. Outside are two therapy gardens which were designed specifically as teaching areas where patients learn accessible gardening techniques. These specialty gardens, in addition to other gardening areas throughout the Craig campus, are utilized for patient treatment and also serve as welcoming places for all who visit.

Mental Health Center of Denver Dahlia Campus for Health and Well-Being
At the Mental Health Center of Denver we believe that people can, and do recover from mental illness. In January of 2016, we opened Dahlia Campus, the headquarters of our Child and Family Division. This unique partnership with the citizens of Northeast Park Hill brings together a vast array of services to promote health and well-being across the lifespan. Services include mental health, dental care, and parenting support; an inclusive preschool; community teaching kitchen and health classes; public meeting spaces; a gym; and a day treatment program for 1-8 grade. Programs serve the needs of people of all ages, in multiple languages including Spanish and ASL. Outdoors, our green spaces include an urban farm, children’s farm, aquaponics greenhouse, horticultural therapy garden, and native pollinator garden. Horticultural therapy and therapeutic horticulture programs serve clients, students, and the community to learn more about plants, have access to fresh, locally grown organic produce, and learn food-growing to develop self-sufficiency. The Dahlia Campus Farms and Gardens serve as a “green respite” from the urban environment for service recipients, staff, community members, and visitors.

Denver Botanic Gardens
The Denver Botanic Gardens at York Street presents a wide range of gardens and collections on 24 acres that illustrate an ever-widening diversity of plants from all corners of the world. Distinctive gardens define and celebrate a Western identity and a unique high altitude climate and geography. Many of the innovative gardens are models of drought-tolerance and showcase native and adapted plants that thrive in Western gardens. Throughout the Gardens, the time-honored traditions of European horticulture merge with a dynamic diversity of plants and design that represent the best in horticultural achievement. The Sensory Garden at DBG is a unique garden which utilizes architectural features and sensory plantings to enable people of all ages and abilities to interact with plants. Specialized gardening techniques and structures help to minimize barriers and maximize people’s abilities. This is also the site for our onsite therapeutic horticulture programs.

Denver Botanic Garden is driven by its mission “to connect people with plants” and is dedicated to promoting the therapeutic and restorative health benefits of plants and nature. To advance this mission, the Gardens have three therapeutic horticulture staff and a dedicated volunteer group who offer ongoing therapeutic horticulture programs to the community both onsite and off.


 

Pre-tour # 2 - Community Farm Project and Low Socio-economic and Homelessness Projects via Public Transportation Tour with Local Guides 

Thursday, October 4 | 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Registration fee: $55 per person

Sprout City Farms | Earthlinks | Denver Botanic Gardens
 
Please Note: This tour will include approximately two miles of walking, at 5,280 feet above sea level. We will keep the pace slow and gentle, but we do have a time-specific itinerary to follow in order to make the transit connections work. Participants should be prepared for walking, with sturdy shoes, a water bottle, and sunscreen/shade hat. Bathrooms and water refill stations will be available at each of the three sites.

Sprout City Farms at Mountair Park

Mountair Park Community Farm is a project that aims to increase fresh produce consumption through improved access and education! The farm occupies space that was once a tennis court and basketball court as well as a field that was once used as an unpaved parking lot. It’s a small farm coming in at just 1.25 acres, but with a focus on soil health and intensive planting methods, the farm can produce a ton of food (6 tons, actually)! The produce is distributed through a CSA, on-farm produce stand, and through local donation partners. We work with LiveWell Colorado to double the purchasing power of community members that use SNAP through the double up food bucks program. The farm is now in its 5th season and produces so much more than just produce! Mountair Park Community Farm partners with local organizations to create opportunities for all members of the community to get involved. We work with Denver Public Schools to offer internships, with Goodwill for vocational training, with the city to host a farm camp for elementary aged kids, with youth and adults in the judicial system and more! The farm also hosts a pollinator garden and beehives in partnership with the butterfly pavilion, outdoor musical instruments, community art projects, a small orchard, a berry patch, and space to keep growing!

EarthLinks
EarthLinks cultivates transformation and self-worth with people experiencing homelessness and poverty. By creating opportunities through Earth-centered programs, individuals step out of isolation and into a community—restoring each other and the planet. We provide a work program for people who are homeless and low-income to learn skills and create Earth-friendly products that sustain the people and the planet. The EarthLinks Workshop is a micro-enterprise program where participants are paid an hourly stipend for their work. Participants work weekly in our Peace Garden and craft workshop, and set and work toward achieving personal goals, such as acquiring housing, staying in recovery, pursuing education, or working on personal relationships. In 2015, 73 individuals participated in the Workshop Program, earning a modest monthly paycheck to help pay for housing, groceries, transportation, medical care, or other personal needs.

Denver Botanic Gardens
The Denver Botanic Gardens at York Street presents a wide range of gardens and collections on 24 acres that illustrate an ever-widening diversity of plants from all corners of the world. Distinctive gardens define and celebrate a Western identity and a unique high altitude climate and geography. Many of the innovative gardens are models of drought-tolerance and showcase native and adapted plants that thrive in Western gardens. Throughout the Gardens, the time-honored traditions of European horticulture merge with a dynamic diversity of plants and design that represent the best in horticultural achievement. The Sensory Garden at DBG is a unique garden which utilizes architectural features and sensory plantings to enable people of all ages and abilities to interact with plants. Specialized gardening techniques and structures help to minimize barriers and maximize people’s abilities. This is also the site for our onsite therapeutic horticulture programs.

Denver Botanic Garden is driven by its mission “to connect people with plants” and is dedicated to promoting the therapeutic and restorative health benefits of plants and nature. To advance this mission, the Gardens have three therapeutic horticulture staff and a dedicated volunteer group who offer ongoing therapeutic horticulture programs to the community both onsite and off.