Leah Diehl, RLA, HTM, is Director of Therapeutic Horticulture at Wilmot Botanical Gardens and Lecturer in Environmental Horticulture at the University of Florida (UF). She is a licensed landscape architect, a master gardener, and a professionally registered horticultural therapist. She manages and teaches an undergraduate certificate program in horticultural therapy at UF, oversees research projects, and runs therapeutic horticulture programming for diverse populations, where she coordinates clients, volunteers, and students. Leah began her work in horticultural therapy in Chicago in 1993, where she started up a therapeutic and pre-vocational program for individuals with physical and developmental disabilities at Misericordia Home.
Lesley Fleming, MA, HTR, is known nationally & internationally for practicing, writing and consulting on horticultural therapy. Her leadership roles have included initiating the Nova Scotia Horticulture for Health Network, President of (former) Florida Chapter American Horticultural Therapy Association, board member and editor in chief of AHTA magazine, reviewer for the Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture and editor in chief of Digging In and Cultivate epublications. Her ebook Therapeutic Horticulture A Practitioner’s Perspective was published in 2016. She currently leads the advisory group of the Florida Horticulture for Health Network.
Kathryn "Katie" Grimes
Kathryn E. Grimes (Katie) is the Education and Volunteer Manager at Wonder Gardens, a small, historic botanic garden and zoo in Bonita Springs, Florida. She holds a Master of Arts in Teaching degree and a concentration in special education from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, and has been a Registered Horticultural Therapist since 2017. Katie has guided outdoor and garden-based programming for over 20 years in contexts that include schools, a community garden, parks and recreation, early learning environments, and the oldest and largest AZA-accredited zoo in Texas. As a Registered Horticultural Therapist and a Certified Interpretive Guide, she has designed and implemented therapeutic and sensory gardens, programs, walks, tours, and interactions that focus on care for the environment and affect human well-being. Katie appreciates nature as a model for diversity and believes that improving access will benefit both the environment and the people, animals, and plants who live there. When not at work or visiting with family, you can find Katie enjoying sunrises at the beach, kayaking, or playing in her own garden.
Susan Morgan is a horticulturist and garden-based educator located in the foothills near Denver, Colorado. She has delivered virtual and in-person social, therapeutic, and vocational horticulture programming and consulting at public gardens and in private practice in Texas, Tennessee, and Illinois. Susan earned her M.S. degree in public horticulture from the University of Tennessee, horticultural therapy certificate from the Horticultural Therapy Institute with Colorado State University, and international diploma in botanic garden education from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Find Susan at thehorticulturallink.com / eatbreathegarden.com.
Morgan Whitaker Smith
Morgan Whitaker Smith is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who works in community mental health and private practice to help individuals find healing and wholeness. She has experience in treating trauma and various mental health challenges from a variety of therapeutic modalities. She has a particular interest in the emerging field of ecotherapy, including the use of horticulture and other people plant interactions in the therapeutic relationship.
Bree Stark lives in Walton County, Florida and currently works on an independent study research project to earn the horticultural therapy certification through the University of Florida's online program. Bree earned a BS in Agricultural Education and Communication through UF in 2012, completed the master gardener program and participated in volunteer opportunities from 2013-2015, and voraciously consumed writings on ecology, botany, psychology, environmental ethics, indigenous history and rights movements, food justice, permaculture and planetary reciprocity. Bree plans to create several horticultural for health ventures in the Northwest Panhandle of Florida, with special emphasis on clients with substance use disorder as well as those struggling through our collective grief over worldwide ecological collapse and climate disasters. Bree received the Ann Lane Mavromatis Scholarship in 2023 from the American Horticultural Therapy Association.
Sarah Sterling is a Licensed Social Worker whose professional career has focused on adolescent mental health and well-being. As Associate Director of College Counseling and Coordinator of Educational Horticulture at The Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, PA, she uses her training in horticultural therapy to identify innovative ways to connect students with the natural world, while teaching collaborative skills and self-regulation techniques that can be adapted to a variety of post-secondary settings. Sarah’s work emphasizes the benefits of school-based horticulture and the need to make gardening programs more accessible to students of all ages through the use of non-traditional activities and environments such as grave-gardening. Sarah is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and its Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research and received her Certificate in Horticultural Therapy from the University of Florida.
Jessica Sullivan has worked for the University of Florida IFAS Extension in Osceola County since 2001, teaching horticulture and agriculture topics, with a current focus in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems. She has a B.S. in Horticultural Therapy from Kansas State University and a M.S. in Entomology from the University of Florida.
Siang Yu Tham
Siang Yu Tham, MA, is an instructor in the Environmental Horticulture department at the University of Florida and program manager & research scholar at Wilmot Botanical Gardens. She received her Certificate in Horticultural Therapy from the University of Florida and is also a Certified Permaculture Designer. In 2019 she founded By Wind and Wave, a company in Singapore which conducts nature-based programs including guided walks and therapeutic horticulture programs. Siang is the editor of Cultivate, an epublication by FLHHN.