BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Abby Jaroslow, HTR
NJ - OPEN
NY - Anne Meore, LMSW, HTR
PA: Patti Loughridge, HTA
Elections and Awards
Mandy Swope-Joos, HTR
Members at Large
Pam Young, HTR;
Greetings MAHTN members!
It is with a grateful heart that I write my last President’s letter to you. I am grateful to the Board of Directors for their work on the Annual Conference held on October 21st. I am very grateful that the Conference day was filled with inspirational speakers, new ideas, old friends, new members, good food, a wonderful venue, and NO RAIN! It was such fun to be together again as a group.
The board members work hard to make the day look easy, and for every little detail to be handled. It’s quite a project to undertake – I’m eternally grateful that somebody invented the computer and something called email, so we can communicate easily!
I’m also grateful that it’s time to hand over the leadership of MAHTN to our new President, Abby Jaroslow. Abby has been a long time board member and is an experienced Horticultural Therapist at Moss Rehab Hospital. She is the ideal person to lead the organization forward, finding new ways to grow the membership and advance the mission of MAHTN. Congratulations Abby!
And. on behalf of the MAHTN Board of Directors, thank you to those board members who have elected to continue on this journey. I extend an especially warm welcome to our new Board members Megan Fainsinger, Membership chair, and Mandy Joos, Nominations & Awards chair. Thank you also to Faith Kuehn and John Kennedy who have agreed to participate as Members-at-Large. It’s through the hard work of those willing to volunteer their time and talents that our organization continues to fulfill our mission of promoting awareness and acceptance of HT through education, communication and networking.
We all look forward to joining together in 2017 at site meetings and the next conference (in PA), to learn more about the art and science of horticultural therapy, in order to bring wellness and healing to our clients and to our Earth. Please continue to be a part of this great group of people and to share your experiences and expertise with us.
Peg Schofield, HTR
Letter from the Editor:
MAHTN 2016 Annual Conference Recap
Fall, notably a time of the year when I am reminded of my blessings. The garden is a food source, an educational platform, a place that makes a positive impact on our surroundings; the garden setting lends itself for restoration and time to be mindful. This continuum-of-care process for planting, growing, harvesting and then cooking mirrors the cycle of life and recovery. The horticultural therapist is the impetus, the garden is the stage and the harvest is the reward. As the holidays approach and our tables are set with a feast, let’s remember the gifts the garden provides on multiple levels.
This edition includes the Annual MAHTN Conference Recap and highlights our award recipients. Again this year the conference had a great line-up of speakers who were a source of education, inspiration, and encouragement for the field of HT. These gatherings are your chance as MAHTN members to bring new life into your HT programming and have a chance to network with others working in the field of HT. I am always thankful to MAHTN for providing the variety of educational opportunities throughout the year. Coming soon to the website will be information regarding our next MAHTN meeting.
The Fall Practitioner Forum, by Lesley Fleming, HTR addresses declining attendance, provides solutions to increase utilization and participation in HT programs. Also be sure to check out Lesley‘s latest publication, a Smashwords e-book titled Therapeutic Horticulture: A Practitioner’s Perspective.
A New Twist on the Victory Garden, by Pam Young, HTR associates the gardens planted during World War II with a new study out from the University of California that promotes a similar message to garden with a purpose. Today’s message is to plant a garden to help fight climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Sharon Lohse, a student completing the HT Certificate Program at Delaware Valley University provided the HT programming idea in this edition. Horticultural Therapy, Pumpkins and Happiness, is an article showcasing a unique and striking idea using pumpkins for HT programming.
Be More Tree: Ash, by Alice Peck is a poignant and poetic tribute to the Ash tree, its decline and how that impacts our environment. During this busy holiday season, this article stresses the need for all of us to be stewards of the environment and to take the time to honor the leafy beings among us with great vigor!
Blue Orchard Mason Bees
Mason bees are excellent pollinators. They are naturally occurring, docile, friendly and solitary bees making them safe around children and pets. The bees will be looking for a home in early spring so be prepared and order a nest now. A unique holiday gift idea for the naturalist's in your life. Place the nest well above the ground in a sunny, south-facing spot. Multiple sites on line sell both nest tubes and live bees or create your own as a great HT activity.
Consider ordering from Renee's Seeds to create and grow your own Pollinator Garden.
Medford Leas Retirement Community was host for the 2016 MAHTN Annual Conference. The Medford Leas' mission, which has Quaker origins, includes giving back to non-profits and organizations such as MAHTN. They were a generous host and set the stage for an informative day for attendees. Jenny Rose Carey, keynote speaker, kicked off the inspiring day as she led us through her journey of how plants have grounded her, inspired her, and she shared first hand-accounts and photographs of visits to gardens all over the world. Jenny pointed out specific design features for HT gardens: like how hedges encourage fragrance to swirl around, how paths are a necessary part of the garden to lead people in and to give direction and how to use circles or inclusive shapes to frame your view and to consider using a juxtaposed design where you have areas that grow wild and areas that are groomed.
A point that struck a chord with me was her mention of habitat restoration and how we need to do more than just plant milkweed. We have to advocate for our pollinators, establish areas that grow wild, use native plants that encourage the restoration of niches in nature that attract wildlife--and we don’t have to own acres of land in order to do that. These are all important design concepts to consider for HT gardens and Jenny inspired and encouraged us to continue the work we do with connecting people and plants.
The morning rounded out with John Tarquinio sharing “Five Essentials for Growing Your HT Business”. I found this presentation to be packed with information that was useful for those considering HT consulting but also for those already working in the field in established programs in large organizations. We all have to advocate for HT in any setting. According to John, the five points for a successful HT business highlighted the need for a “Self-Assessment”, “Creating a Hunting Map”, “Getting Inside Their Heads-Research Plan”, “Making Yourself the Solution”, “Marketing Your Brand”. John’s presentation was the segue to the roundtable discussion where Marsha Gayl described her road to HT consulting, highlighting her steps to success. This led to a great open discussion with attendees sharing ideas and tips for success from first-hand accounts of their experiences with HT.
The afternoon session from Jack Carman highlighted how communities are creating outdoor green spaces which are perfect avenues for HT’s to provide programming. As healthcare evolves and baby boomers decide to “age in place” communities are re-creating neighborhoods and are adding accessible gardens which are completely open to the public. These areas are an avenue for new pathways for HT employment. HT’s need to be a part of those changes and be first in line to “make yourself the solution” and take advantage of new ways to deliver distinctive HT services.
The day’s events rounded out with tours of Medford Lease which highlighted how residents take an active role in the greenhouse, garden courtyards and even one of the tennis courts which now is home to a myriad of portable raised gardens. Two of the interesting sources for unique, cost effective containers were the use of Geopots www.geopot.com and Root Pouches www.rootpouch.com
Thanks to the Board of Directors for a wonderful heart-felt MAHTN awards ceremony, it’s always nice to acknowledge “our own” contributing members in the field of HT. Thanks to Bette Walters for coordinating a great raffle with some unique items and also special thanks to Ann Meore for her herb butter HT ‘Make and Take’ session. Please consider attending one of our upcoming events. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to be inspired, discover new HT programming ideas, and learn how to better motivate your prospective HT clients to help them achieve the goals for health, recovery and knowledge for success in life.
They will last for weeks or longer in a cool, dry place (glue turns back into white glue in the rain – experience speaking) and if you spritz the succulents a tiny bit, they can be “saved” when you’re ready to pitch that pumpkin in the compost. As I told my friend who is trying to learn our culture, “We enjoy them for a season and they make us happy and then we compost them – they are just for fun!”
Yggdrasil was the world tree in Scandinavian myths. An enormous ash, its roots reached the lairs of the gods, and its branches spread to the edges of the universe as it protected the Earth. Such powerful imagery, such a noble tree, but now the ash needs our protection.
According to Helen Macdonald in the New York Times, “Ash dieback disease, a new and virulent fungal infection that has spread westward across Europe . . . will likely kill nearly all the ashes in Britain. In America, the effects of the invasive emerald ash borer beetle have been just as devastating. Globalization is the culprit . . . The accelerating scale and speed of international trade has brought numerous pathogens and pests to species with no natural resistance.”
The ash Yggdrasil suffers anguish,
More than men can know;
The stag bites above; on the side it rots;
And the dragon gnaws from beneath.
~ From The Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson, Icelandic scholar (1179–1241), translated by Henry Adams Bellows