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P.L.2015, Joint Resolution No. 1, approved May 11, 2015

Senate Joint Resolution No. 12



A Joint Resolution designating the third full week in March of each year as “Horticultural Therapy Week” in New Jersey.


Whereas, Horticultural therapy is the time-proven practice of using therapeutic benefits of working in a peaceful and non-threatening garden environment indoors or outdoors, and using horticulture as a modality to improve the quality of life; and

Whereas, Horticultural therapy is practiced through vocational, therapeutic, and social programs, and successfully enables and empowers individuals to achieve their maximum independence in settings such as hospitals, correctional facilities, public schools, senior centers, and community gardens; and

Whereas, Horticultural therapy gained prominence in the United States in rehabilitating wounded veterans of World War II through the assistance of volunteers and trained professionals, and continues today in veterans’ hospitals across the country; and

Whereas, Horticultural therapy brings dignity and enhanced skills by allowing individuals to grow and function to the best of their abilities, and helps individuals such as those recovering from illness or injury, the elderly, socially disadvantaged individuals, and individuals with disabilities; and

Whereas, Awareness and growth of the profession of horticultural therapy is being realized through increased educational opportunities, beginning with the first Master of Science degree in horticultural therapy, awarded by Michigan State University in 1955, and continuing across the country in universities, colleges, and community colleges, and through horticultural therapy certificate programs; and

Whereas, The American Horticultural Therapy Association, a nonprofit organization that is federally tax-exempt pursuant to section 501 (c)(3) of the federal Internal Revenue Code of 1986, 26 U.S.C.s.501(c)(3), provides opportunities for registered horticultural therapy professionals to share research, professional standards, and best practices, as well as for the public to obtain information and resources; and

Whereas, Horticultural therapy was practiced by Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence; and

Whereas, Horticultural therapy is beneficial for people of all ages and all walks of life in a wide variety of rehabilitative, health care, and residential settings, providing benefits directly through formal programs with trained horticultural therapy professionals, and providing benefits indirectly through encouraging the designation and creation of public gardens and community gardens; and

Whereas, The designation of a week in this State to coincide with “National Horticultural Therapy Week” would assist in increasing awareness of horticultural therapy and related matters; now, therefore,


Be It Resolved by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:


     1.    The third full week in March of each year is designated as “Horticultural Therapy Week” in New Jersey to increase public awareness of the importance of horticultural therapy in improving the quality of life for all and increasing opportunities for each individual to experience the endless benefits of the people-plant connection.


     2.    The Governor shall issue a proclamation recognizing the third full week in March of each year as “Horticultural Therapy Week” and calling upon public officials and the citizens of this State to observe the week with appropriate activities and programs.


     3.    This joint resolution shall take effect immediately.





     Designates third full week in March as “Horticultural Therapy Week.”