Transforming the Campus Greenhouse into a Horticulturally Therapeutic Space

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The goal of this project was to deliver a review of literature covering horticultural therapy, propose the benefits and implications of horticultural therapy for college students, and implement a trial that tests the hypothesis that the operation of a horticulturally therapeutic space can be functionally affordable, sustainable, and beneficial to an institution. A comprehensive literature search was conducted throughout the spring of 2019. Horticultural therapy has been found to provide a positive influence on stressed individuals. A field test was attempted at the main campus of Alfred University in Alfred, New York throughout the 2018-2019 academic year. The field test was conducted using a variety of spring blooming bulbous plants and recording the observed flowering time-frame of the selected plants with comparison to their expected flowering time-frame. Upon test conclusion, it is believed that horticultural therapy can be implemented on campus and bulbous flora can be grown successfully as an alternative method for students to discover relief from stress. Recommendations are made to improve the greenhouse even further and promote alternative plants that may provide earlier growth for college students to fully gain any benefit. Further research in this topic may be necessary with quantitative data gathered to provide links that support student benefit.
Thesis completed in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Alfred University Honors Program.
Honors thesis, Horticultural therapy, Stress management, Greenhouses