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Horticultural Therapy Services

A trained professional in a plant-rich environment can provide an opportunity for healing, stress reduction, physical exercise, and endless learning. Chicago Botanic Garden professionals enable participants to engage with elements of the plant world in a planned, individualized, and expertly directed manner.

The Garden is a world leader in providing therapeutic horticulture experiences to visitors at the Garden as well as at facilities throughout the Chicago area. The horticultural therapy department also offers certificate programs for special-education personnel, healthcare providers and administrators, and landscape professionals. These programs explore the multiple health benefits that are available in nature.

Internships for Veterans

Veterans' Summer Internship Program

Paid internships for veterans are offered in various departments throughout the Chicago Botanic Garden. This program is perfect for veterans seeking interim employment and guidance in creating a plan for transitioning to the civilian workforce. Application deadline for the 2017 program is March 31. Click here for more information.

Direct Services

Direct Services

Working with staff from an agency, facility, or club, our therapists design, prepare, and lead a 50-minute session with up to 15 participants. Sessions are conducted in the distinguished Buehler Enabling Garden during the growing season (mid-May to mid-October) or at a location provided by the contracting agency.



Staff is experienced in providing professional consultation during the planning phase of a garden installation to ensure maximum benefit and accessibility for the users of a specific garden. Our consultants will develop conceptual plans and provide a bridge to working with those who construct the garden. We are also pleased to consult on creating accessible, inclusive and welcoming spaces and programs for people with special needs. Consulting fees fund the mission and programs of the Garden. 



The Horticultural Therapy Certificate Program provides professionals with experience in a compatible therapeutic or educational field with the required background to use horticultural therapy techniques with their clients. The program is accredited through Oakton Community College and earns a total of 12 credit hours. Classes are taught online with the addition of two full-time, weeklong immersion experiences at the Garden.



Our therapists bring a wealth of experience to share with audiences. Talks range from brief lectures to multi-day experiences on such topics as therapeutic garden design, selection of plant material, accessibility issues, and the use of therapeutic horticulture with specific populations (such as aging, PTSD, sensory spectrum disorders, stroke recovery and more). Speakers' fees support the mission and programs of the Garden.

For more information on our programs, call (847) 835-8277 or email .