Recognizing excellence in horticultural therapy

To further its mission to promote and advance the practice of horticultural therapy as a therapeutic intervention and rehabilitative modality, AHTA sponsors an annual awards program to recognize the contributions of individuals and organizations whose personal initiative and achievement define outstanding performance in the field.

AHTA awards and honors excellence in seven areas: research; humanitarian service; publication of a book, paper, or research; horticultural therapy program services delivered in a community setting; professional service; therapeutic garden design; and academic achievement. Awards are presented at the AHTA Annual Conference held each fall.

Applications for the 2015 Awards will be available in early 2015. It is not necessary to be a member of AHTA to submit a nomination.  Please read the awards criteria and complete the online nomination application below. 


AHTA Annual Awards

Charles A. Lewis Excellence in Research Award

To honor Charles A. Lewis, a pioneer in the field of people-plant interaction and innovative horticultural programs throughout the community.  Given to recognize research scientists who have published outstanding horticultural therapy research in a horticultural or medical journal.  This award is to provide an incentive to contribute evidence-based research that demonstrates the effectiveness of horticultural therapy and to increase the awareness of research-based findings supporting the health benefits offered through horticulture.

2014 Recipient: Sin-Ae Park for the article Metabolic Costs of Gardening Tasks in Children, published in Hort Technology 23 (5) 589-594, 


AHTA Therapeutic Garden Design Awards

Awarded for the purpose of identifying and publicizing excellence in therapeutic design and programming to existing gardens and landscapes designed and maintained for therapeutic purposes.

The document AHTA Therapeutic Garden Characteristics provides the basis for this award. 

2014 Recipient: Tillium Family Services Parry Center Healing Gardens; Portland, OR 

AHTA Publication Award

Awarded in recognition of an outstanding book, paper, or research authored or co-authored by members of AHTA who have conceived, designed, evaluated, or reported innovative or significant developments in horticultural therapy. “Research” as applied to this award is broadly interpreted to include any area of inquiry related to horticultural therapy.

2014 Recipient: Natasha Etherington for her book “Gardening for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Special Educational Needs”

Ann Lane Mavromatis Scholarship

This $500 scholarship is awarded annually to a student member of AHTA in recognition of academic achievement and to promote the growth of professionalism in the field of horticultural therapy. The scholarship recipient’s registration fees for the annual meeting will be waived by the AHTA and she/he will be granted two nights lodging for the annual meeting.

No nominations

Alice Burlingame Humanitarian Service Award

Awarded to an organization or individual who has given freely of their time, talent, and energy with special significance for horticultural therapy on a local, state or national level. Outstanding voluntary contribution to an organization or program need not necessarily be made in the year in which the nomination is made.

2014 Recipient: Susan Morgan

John Walker Community Service Award

Awarded in recognition of significant contribution in horticultural therapy in the area of program services provided to a community. Programs to be recognized shall be distinguished by their leadership in the field, innovative service delivery, and effective public relations.

2014 Recipient: Michigan Horticultural Therapy Association

Rhea McCandliss Professional Service Award

Awarded to a registered member (HTM, HTR, or HTA) of the AHTA in recognition of significant contribution to the field of horticultural therapy characterized by distinctive service in the promotion, organization, and development of horticultural therapy programs or for an original or unusual contribution affecting the philosophy or practice of horticultural therapy.

2014 Recipient: Patty Cassidy

The deadline for nominations is published yearly and falls in the summer. Nominees must be current AHTA members; however, it is not necessary to be an AHTA member to nominate someone.