Nature-Based Therapeutics



Nature Based Therapeutics are professionally facilitated interactions with plants, animals and natural landscapes to bring about measurable outcomes in human health and well-being. It is nature's way of healing all people in physical, social, emotional and cognitive ways.

Professional, licensed facilitators will arrange a consultation with you in order to design a custom program that will meet the needs/strengths of your group. Direct service programs and trainings are available at the Arboretum or at your site.

Nature-Based Therapeutics are a collaborative program between the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and the University of Minnesota's Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing.

Nature-Based Therapeutics Services provide individual and group programming to accomplish any/all of these wellbeing objectives:
  • Social
  • Emotional
  • Cognitive
  • Physical
  • Spiritual
NBT serves:
  • Community Members-Adults and Adolescents
  • Educators-Adult and Adolescents
  • Registered Animal Therapy Teams
  • Rehabilitation Professionals
  • Elderly Personnel
Focus Areas:
  • Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Eating Disorders
  • Severe/Persistent Mental Health Conditions
  • Emotional/Behavioral
  • Chemical Health Issues
  • Disorders
    • Autism Spectrum Disorders
    • Parkinson's/Movement Disorders

NBT Services can address these problems/needs/issues

  • Social/Emotional Learning
  • Health Care and Care Provider Compassion Fatigue
  • Loneliness
  • Isolation
  • Anxiety/Chronic Stress
  • Perfectionism
  • Self-worth
  • Depression
  • Disconnection from Natural World
  • Fine/Gross Motor Deficits
  • Trauma and Inter-Generational Acute Distress
  • Self-Regulation
  • Lack of Purpose and/or Coping Skills
  • Attachment/Relational Disorders
    • Lack of Secure Attachment/Safe or Stable Relationships
    • Lack of Access to Animals and Other Nature-Based Resources
    • Lack of Advocacy
Woman snuggling happy dog outside
photo: Gina Easley
Services (including therapeutic horticulture, green exercise, therapeutic landscape design, and animal-assisted intereventions) provide opportunities for people to explore mind, body and spirit through plants and animals

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

NBT interventions are:
  • Experiential 
  • Playful
  • Collaborative 
  • Transformational
  • Gratifying
  • Safe
  • Encouraging
  • Respectful
  • Compassionate
  • Dignifying
  • Supportive
  • Creative
  • Happiness
  • Vibrancy
  • Wonderment/Awe
  • Joy
  • Connection
  • Resiliency
  • Curiosity
  • Self-Reliance
  • Integration
  • Sensory
  • Purposeful
  • Relief
  • Restorative
  • Supported
  • Engaged
  • Regulated
  • Motivated

Nature-Based Therapeutics staff strives to maintain best practices in all we do. This includes guidelines and policies set forth by internationally recognized organizations such as American Horticultural Therapy Association, National Council of Therapeutic Recreation certificationPATH International and Pet Partners
Nature-Based Therapeutics In The News
Arboretum Dog Commons
Experience the On-Leash Dog Trails with a Dog-Added Arboretum Membership 


Why Nature Based Therapeutics?

Connection to nature is essential to human health and wellbeing. 

• Nature teaches us balance. Everything works better with nature in our lives - interactions with nature, including animals, provide a non-threatening focus and brings a calming effect on humans.

• Nature provides us meaning. Spending time with nature nurtures us - humans are instinctively attracted to nature (E.O. Wilson's Biophilia Hypothesis). This natural connection nourishes us internally and in relationships with others and our community.

• Nature gives us life. Activities in nature support the whole person - nature and animals improve and promote health on a physical, psychological, social, cognitive and spiritual level.


For consultations, questions, and more information, contact:

Dr. Jean Larson, PhD, CTRS, HTR
Manager, Nature-Based Therapeutics Services
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
Center for Spirituality and Healing