Nature as Therapy
I think there is something innate in us that understands nature is good for us. We don't need science to prove it; we just know it. Nonetheless, study after study confirms the truth that nature connections bring healing to body, mind, and soul. One day I was thumbing through a magazine when I stumbled across an unfamiliar term: horticultural therapy. With my curiosity stirred, I started to do some research. It led me to a year long program in which I earned my certificate in horticultural therapy through the Horticultural Therapy Institute with class credit at Colorado State University. Horticultural therapists, who connect people and plants with stated goals, work in a variety of settings like public schools, skilled care facilities, hospitals, and addiction centers. A place where they do not seem to be in abundance, but should be in my opinion, is the church. Churches - and other Christian settings - commonly have land and some sort of garden - or at least space for one. The story that centers us, the Bible, includes such things as the call for us to be stewards of creation, to gaze at stars and experience wonder, and to go off to quiet hills and gardens to pray like Jesus did. Contact me if you would like me to help your church or Christian setting have a thriving therapeutic garden and nature ministry. I would love to help.