The Therapeutic Horticulture Program at Wilmot Botanical Gardens resides at the core of the gardens’ mission to improve lives through an active connection with plants and nature.
Located at the heart of UF’s medical campus, Wilmot Botanical Gardens serves as a living laboratory and healing garden and is dedicated to advancing patient care, education, research and service. The therapeutic horticulture program represents one of the nation’s leading examples of a model demonstration facility, where programming and research are both conducted on site to explore the efficacy and breadth of therapeutic horticulture. In addition, Wilmot Botanical Gardens has partnered with the Department of Environmental Horticulture to provide students with educational opportunities in Horticultural Therapy. Through generous donations, our programming is continually growing and now includes volunteer training programs, FNGLA exam tutoring for adults with special needs and UF student groups that focus on mental health and wellness. Please navigate below for more information on our all of educational opportunities.
All programs at Wilmot Botanical Gardens are based on the belief that an active connection with plants and nature can be a restorative experience and have a profound effect on each individual’s quality of life.
The mission of the Therapeutic Horticulture Program is to improve the quality of life of individuals with special needs through gardening and advance empirical research on the value of therapeutic horticulture.
Within a greenhouse and garden environment these programs seek to decrease stress and mental fatigue, boost self-esteem and self-efficacy, and provide community, creativity, and optimism.
The Undergraduate Certificate in Horticultural Therapy is offered by the Department of Environmental Horticulture and is open to UF students as well as to individuals outside of UF.
The FNGLA Certified Horticulture Professional (FCHP) program is the industry’s only standard for measuring horticulture knowledge on everything from plant and pest identification to landscape management. The certification is designed for those working in the horticulture industry or studying to enter the field.
Volunteers must complete a 12-hour training curriculum prior to involvement with the therapeutic horticulture program. Much of the training is offered in an online format via Canvas.
Volunteers of all skill levels will be engaged in restoring and maintaining the gardens, which provide an important natural respite for patients and caregivers served by UF Health Shands Hospital, as well as the rest of the university community and beyond.