Beyond Barriers: Accessing Nature for People with Disabilities

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Beyond Barriers: Accessing Nature for People with Disabilities

July 31, 2020 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

Friday, July 31, 2020

11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Join NYBG horticultural therapists Phyllis D’Amico and Anne Meore, Garden Educator Brooke Gibbard, and participants from NYBG’s service learning program as they share their experiences of teaching and practicing therapeutic horticulture.As the Americans with Disabilities Act celebrates its 30th anniversary, we will examine the impact of this important legislation as it relates to creating meaningful access to the natural world and its benefits for people with disabilities. Beyond the elimination of physical barriers, access to nature includes the opportunity and right for individuals to benefit fully from their interactions with nature, plants, gardens and natural landscapes. “Access” reaches beyond “getting in” and navigating a site safely—it extends to the unique ways in which therapeutic horticulture can provide positive benefits for the body, mind, and spirit.

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Phyllis D’Amico

Phyllis is a lifelong educator and a Registered Horticultural Therapist with the American Horticultural Therapy Association. During her decades long career with the Newark Public Schools, she served as the Lead Science Teacher at the NJ Regional Day School where she developed a model horticultural therapy program for children and adolescents with developmental disabilities.

She specializes in accessible/organic gardening, nutrition education, nature study, intergenerational, inclusion and service- learning programs. Her dedication and innovative projects have been recognized by the NJ Governor’s Teacher of the Year Award. Phyllis holds five NJ teacher certifications and a certificate in Horticultural Therapy from the New York Botanical Garden. She is the Program Coordinator of the NYBG Horticultural Therapy Certificate Program and has been an instructor in Adult Education since 1988. Phyllis also serves as Vice President on the board of the Mid-Atlantic Horticultural Therapy Network


Anne Meore

Anne Meore LMSW, HTR serves as the Garden Projects Coordinator for Bon Secours Charity Health System in Suffern, NY, since 2011, where she is responsible for designing & managing therapeutic garden spaces & conducting Horticultural Therapy programming in the accessible and therapeutic “Garden of Hope” at Good Samaritan Hospital.

She holds advanced degrees in Guidance Counseling and Social Work, a certificate in Permaculture Design and a certificate in Horticultural Therapy from the New York Botanical Garden. Anne is a licensed social worker in New York and a registered horticultural therapist with the American Horticultural Therapy Association. Her work at the New York Botanical Garden includes serving as the Horticultural Therapy Program Coordinator for THRIVE (Therapeutic Horticulture and Rehabilitative Intervention for Veteran Engagement), which partners with the Bronx VA’s Resilience & Wellness Center—the first-ever therapeutic horticulture program offered at NYBG. She serves as the program advisor to and a faculty member of the HT Certificate Program at NYBG and served as an instructor for NYBG’s Edible Academy from 2011–2019.


Brooke Gibbard

Brooke Gibbard is Garden Coordinator at the Edible Academy at The New York Botanical Garden. She received a BS in Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources from Michigan State University.


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NY United States


New York Botanical Garden


Audience (by age)
Adults (Ages 18 and up), Teens (Ages 13-17)
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