A joint resolution Assembly members Donna Simon and Jack Ciattarelli sponsor to designate the third week in March as “Horticultural Therapy Week” recently won General Assembly approval.
Horticultural therapy (HT) helps people learn new skills or regain ones that have been lost using gardening and plant-based activities under the guidance of a horticultural therapist.
“Many people find working with plants to be very enjoyable and relaxing. Using it as part of a therapeutic treatment plan has proven to be beneficial for people of all ages with various needs including brain injuries, cancer, Alzheimer’s, substance abuse, developmental disabilities, and OT/PT rehabilitation,” said Simon, R-Hunterdon, Somerset, Mercer and Middlesex. “Horticulture therapy is used to improve memory, fine and gross motor skills, cognitive abilities, language, socialization, and behavioral and executive functioning skills. As the Garden State, New Jersey couldn’t be a more perfect place to launch this joint resolution,”
“As horticulture therapy continues to play a larger and more important role in the community, it is all altogether fitting and perfectly appropriate that we recognize its emergence and therapeutic benefit by designating the third week in March as ‘Horticultural Therapy Week,’” said Ciattarelli, R-Hunterdon, Somerset, Mercer and Middlesex.
HT is used in mental health, vocational, occupational, rehabilitative and substance abuse programs in various settings, including hospitals, clinics, correctional facilities and assisted and senior living centers.
The resolution, AJR-13/SJR-12, designates the third full week in March of each year as “Horticultural Therapy Week” to increase public awareness about the importance of horticultural therapy in improving the quality of life for all participants.