Nature-Based Therapeutics


Purposeful activities with plants to improve motor skills, develop self-determination, and promote community integration. 

Through purposeful therapeutic strategies, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum dedicates itself to the elimination of both physical and attitudinal barriers to horticulture, and to the introduction and inclusion of as many people as possible in the joys of watching a garden flourish.


Direct Services

Education & Learning

Outreach & Resources


Nature-Based Therpeutics Home

For further information, please contact
Dr. Jean M. Larson, PhD, CTRS, HTR
University of Minnesota
Manager - Nature-Based Therapeutic Services
Asst. Professor - Nature-Based Therapeutic Studies

Direct Services

Therapeutic Horticulture services are a successful and long-standing tradition at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. 
Services are provided by trained professionals who utilize various plant/plant-related activities to meet specific measurable outcomes for people with and without disabilities.

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum's internationally-recognized Therapeutic Horticulture services demonstrate accessible gardening techniques and the use of horticulture as an effective means to grow individual independence and decision-making skills. 

Therapeutic Horticulture direct services provide individual and group programming to accomplish any all of the following wellbeing objectives:
   • Social
   • Emotional
   • Cognitive
   • Physical
   • Spiritual

Services are offered on-site, at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum or at other community-based facilities in the Twin Cities metro area.

Therapeutic Horticulture services provide opportunities for people to explore mind, body and spirit through plants

  • Through interaction with plants, an individual's quality of life is maximized.
  • Through Therapeutic Horticulture activities, people develop the skills necessary for self-determination.
  • Through the simple pleasures of the garden, community integration is promoted.  

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum's Therapeutic Horticulture staff strives to maintain best practices in all we do.  This includes guidelines and policies set forth by two internationally recognized organizations: American Horticultural Therapy Association and National Council of Therapeutic Recreation certification. 

Schools: including alternative high schools for students with chemical health issues.
Day Program Services: including adults with Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease.
Residential group homes: serving adults with developmental disabilities and adults with severe and persistent mental illness.
Vocational services: serving adults with dual diagnosis.