2019 Horticulture Symposium: Speaker Bios and Topics


2019 Horticulture Symposium: Speaker Bios and TopicsAmos Clifford

Amos Clifford is the founder of the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs and author of the bestselling Your Guide to Forest Bathing.  A student of Buddhist philosophy for over 20 years, Amos founded Sky Creek Dharma Center in Chico, California, where he emphasized the importance of meditation practice in wild places.  Amos is widely known for his work in restorative justice.  He is the founder of the Center for Restorative Process, where he has led the inquiry into how the principles of restorative justice can inform ways to heal the broken relationships between humans and the more-than-human world of nature.  Amos holds a BS in Organization Development and an MA in Counseling from the University of San Francisco.  Amos has been the primary developer of ANFT’s acclaimed training programs.

Topic: The Importance of Forest Therapy in an Age of Climate Crisis

Amos Clifford’s presentation will introduce the practice of forest therapy. It will invite participants to explore along with the presenter emerging ideas about the role that relationships between people and plants may have in how humanity experiences and responds to the global climate crisis.


2019 Horticulture Symposium: Speaker Bios and Topics

Naomi A. Sachs

Naomi A. Sachs, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture at the University of Maryland. She is Founding Director of the Therapeutic Landscapes Network and Co-editor of Health Environments Research and Design (HERD) Journal. Naomi earned a PhD in Architecture at Texas A&M University and a Master of Landscape Architecture from UC Berkeley. She has published and presented nationally and internationally on the positive role of nature in human health. Among other publications, Naomi is co-author with Clare Cooper Marcus of the book Therapeutic Landscapes: An Evidence-based Approach to Designing Healing Gardens and Restorative Outdoor.

Topic: Restorative Landscapes: The Evidence Behind What You’ve Known All Along

When they first hear of studies that report the benefits of nature, many people say, “I could have told you that!” The role of scientists is sometimes to confirm what we think we already know, and to explain it in ways we do not yet fully understand. This research can be the basis for deeper investment in what we hold dear—in this case, access to nature in all sorts of environments, from schools to hospitals to neighborhoods and our own back yards. In this talk, Dr. Naomi Sachs will offer insights into some of the foundational as well as most current research about how nature, and our interaction with it, benefits human health.


2019 Horticulture Symposium: Speaker Bios and Topics

Gwenn Fried 

Gwenn Fried is the Manager of Horticultural Therapy Services at the New York University Langone Medical Center.  She has more than 20 years of experience in development, implementation and management of horticulture therapy programs and design of therapeutic gardens.  She is a faculty member in Chicago Botanic Garden’s Healthcare Garden Design Seminar, Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Mid-Atlantic Horticultural Therapy Network and a board member of MetroHort Group.  She lectures internationally and has coauthored books and papers, including the new textbook “The Profession and Practice of Horticultural Therapy” published this year. 

Topic: Therapeutic Horticulture Programs in Public Spaces

Learn how public spaces both locally and throughout the county are being used as places for active and passive therapeutic horticulture programs, restoring body, mind and spirit.  Use these as a spark to imagine simple short-term applications and potential long-term projects that can increase the benefit of green spaces in our area.


2019 Horticulture Symposium: Speaker Bios and TopicsStephanie Lucas
Stephanie Lucas is the Deputy Director of Horticulture and Operations at Madison Square Park Conservancy in New York City, where she manages 7 acres of dynamic public green space and urban forest. She is the curator of the Conservancy’s daffodil, redbud, hydrangea, and witch hazel collections. Stephanie holds a BS in Horticulture and Turfgrass Science from the University of Connecticut and serves on the board of MetroHort.



2019 Horticulture Symposium: Speaker Bios and TopicsRegina Ginyard
Regina Ginyard is one of the founding members of the Black Urban Growers (BUGS). BUGS hosts national conferences every year with over 400 black rural and urban farmers, nutritionists, educators, and others in related fields. Regina is also one of the Co-founders of La Finca Del Sur, the first women-of-color led urban farm collectives located in the South Bronx. Over the last few years, Regina has become a strong advocate for increased mental health awareness and the removal of bureaucratic barriers for people dealing with a mental health crisis. Through providing front-line support to a loved family member with a mental health diagnosis, Regina was inspired to create a space called Therapeutic Outdoors (TO). TO combines the power of nature and a vast network of holistic service practitioners to create an inclusive, accessible, and affordable space for individuals to heal from various forms of trauma.


2019 Horticulture Symposium: Speaker Bios and TopicsJenn Hertzell

Jenn Hertzell has been an educator for 14 years, a Bronx-based farmer for 4 years, and an overall lover of all things plants-related for her entire life. She graduated with a BA in Anthropology from Yale University and an MA in Social Enterprise with a focus on Education from American University. She is the founder of At The Root: An Herbal Eatery, Farm, and Apothecary. ATR exists to create opportunities for people of the African Diaspora to heal their relationships with their bodies and with the earth.

Networking Activity: The Joy Project